Turns out Dr. James Andrews does knees, too, and CC Sabathia wants to see what the renowned surgeon has to say about one of his.
General manager Brian Cashman said Monday that Sabathia, put on the disabled list Sunday because of a buildup of fluid in his right knee, asked to be evaluated by Andrews.
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Team physician Christopher Ahmad evaluated Sabathia before Monday night's 9-7 loss to the Mets -- a game in which Hiroki Kuroda wasn't able to provide much good news for a beleaguered rotation -- and confirmed an MRI taken Sunday in Milwaukee that showed no meniscus tear. But Sabathia already had told the club that regardless of Ahmad's evaluation, he wants to see Andrews, possibly as soon as Wednesday.
Cashman said Sabathia has a "long history" with Andrews, who most recently removed a bone spur from Sabathia's left elbow in October 2012.
Andrews is best known for his work on the elbows and shoulders of major-leaguers but has an impressive clientele from other sports, including Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who had his right knee operated on by Andrews in January 2013.
Cashman spoke to the media in the late afternoon before Ahmad's exam. "Bottom line is I'm not in a position to answer too much," he said. "Obviously, he has the fluid on the knee. It's being caused by something. It's definitely not the meniscus, according to the MRI readings in Milwaukee. Now our team doctor might have a [different] interpretation when he gets his hands on it and reads it himself." But Ahmad did not.
Sabathia complained of pain in the knee after Saturday night's start against the Brewers and, at least momentarily, the Yankees were relieved that the MRI did not show a meniscus tear. The 33-year-old lefthander had surgery, performed by Ahmad, to repair a torn meniscus in the same knee in 2010. But on Sunday, Sabathia hardly sounded like a relieved pitcher, saying the feeling in the knee was very similar to what he felt in 2010.
Sabathia declined to speak to reporters before Monday night's game, saying only that he had not yet been seen by Ahmad.
As for what's left of the Yankees' rotation, it is a mess. Sabathia is the third member of the rotation to be put on the disabled list in the last four weeks.
Sabathia joins Ivan Nova, lost for the season after Tommy John surgery, and Michael Pineda, who is being brought along slowly after straining his right teres major muscle, which is located just below the shoulder.
Alfredo Aceves was the leading candidate to take Sabathia's rotation turn Thursday but Joe Girardi used him in relief Monday night. The start could go to righthander Chase Whitley, currently in the rotation for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Cashman also didn't rule out Adam Warren, who has shined as a reliever, possibly starting again.
"It's not optimal," he said of the rotation issues. "There's a lot of guys that want the ball and they want the opportunity, so they're going to get it . . . We're going to find out what we do have or what we don't have."
Or, as Girardi said: "Our surplus isn't such a surplus anymore."