Andy Pettitte was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday because of back spasms that have troubled him since his last outing.
The Yankees on Friday said they hoped to have the 40-year-old pitch again Tuesday or Wednesday. But that timetable is tentative because back spasms are unpredictable, and the team is going to be super-cautious with Pettitte.
"I'm almost 100 percent [certain] we believe it's a muscle spasm," said Pettitte, who first felt the discomfort during his outing Tuesday in Cleveland, felt OK on Wednesday and then spasmed again Thursday night while getting up from his couch.
Manager Joe Girardi said that because of Pettitte's age, he wasn't counting on him for a full slate of starts this season anyway.
"I think you have to anticipate that a little bit," Girardi said. "I think it is pretty tough to get 32 starts out of a young guy, in a sense, a guy who hasn't logged as many innings as he has. Our hope is that you get somewhere between 28 and 30 starts."
Pettitte has been outstanding in his first two, going 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA. After two rainouts, the Yankees reinserted the skipped Phil Hughes into the rotation for Saturday against the Orioles. Hiroki Kuroda will pitch Sunday, with Ivan Nova slated for either Tuesday or Wednesday.
"I would love to just go out there and try to pitch and I'll get through it like I got through it in Cleveland," Pettitte said. "They're not going to allow me to do it with an opportunity to push me back several days."
Teixeira has to wait
Mark Teixeira (wrist) was hoping he could start swinging a bat Friday. But after meeting with hand specialist Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser, he was told he needs to strengthen the area first.
"He was very happy with how it looked, how it felt," Teixeira said. "He wants me to get a little stronger before I swing. So the next couple of days, I'm just going to really ramp up the strengthening."