CC Sabathia to have season-ending knee surgery

Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia looks down after Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia looks down after giving up a home run to Milwaukee Brewers' Aramis Ramirez in the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 10, 2014, in Milwaukee. Photo Credit: AP / Jeffrey Phelps

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CC Sabathia's season is over.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman delivered the news, which was not a surprise, before Friday night's game against the Reds, saying the lefthander will undergo surgery on his right knee on Wednesday.

Cashman described the procedure as "arthroscopic debridement" of Sabathia's knee, to be performed by Los Angeles-based surgeon Neal ElAttrache.

"He'll get it cleaned up and hopefully next year it will be a different story," Cashman said.

For now, Cashman said, Sabathia will avoid the dreaded microfracture surgery, a procedure that could be career-threatening. Cashman cautioned, however, that "it doesn't mean that's off the table.''

"Some people would say it could work," he said of the microfracture option, "but it's one of those things you don't want to mess with if you can avoid it."

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But even the debridement procedure doesn't come with any assurances. Cashman said his understanding is that Sabathia, 33 -- who was placed on the disabled list May 11 after experiencing severe swelling in his right knee -- should come to spring training close to 100 percent, but he couldn't say for sure.

"Hopefully [he'll] have a better story line next year, although there's no guarantee there's going to be a better story line," Cashman said.

Sabathia entered this year trying to prove that his 2013 season, in which he went a career-worst 14-13 with a 4.78 ERA, was an aberration. But with his fastball resting in the range of 89 to 91 mph a second straight season, he landed on the DL with a 3-4 record and 5.28 ERA in eight starts.

He made progress in his rehab and the Yankees talked openly of a late July return. But Sabathia experienced renewed swelling in his knee after his second rehab outing, July 2 with Double-A Trenton, and was shut down.

"He tried the rehab side of it and it didn't work," Cashman said. "It's [this surgery] the cleanup of the knee and hopefully that's good enough."

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