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CC Sabathia believes he'll be ready to pitch next season

Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia watches the interleague

Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia watches the interleague baseball game against the Mets from the dugout in the fifth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium on Monday, May 12, 2014. Credit: AP / Kathy Kmonicek

CC Sabathia walked into the Yankees clubhouse Tuesday on crutches with two big Band-Aids on his surgically repaired right knee.

Sabathia said the season-ending surgery he had on Thursday went well, even though doctors removed a previously undetected bone spur near his ACL. Sabathia said he is hopeful the surgery plus a stem cell treatment he is scheduled to have in a few weeks will have him ready to have "a normal offseason" and pitch in 2015.

"I don't think there's any reason why I shouldn't be able to go out and tolerate [the pain] and go out there and pitch," Sabathia said.

But general manager Brian Cashman sounded less sure about the return of the Yankees' 34-year-old former ace, who is signed through 2016 for a total of $48 million with a $25-million vesting option or $5 million buyout for 2017.

"The surgery -- we're all hopeful it's going to help," Cashman said. "But there's always that storm cloud on the horizon that he's got bigger issues that may rear its ugly head down the line . . . I can't predict what's going to happen going forward."

Sabathia, 34, was 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA in eight starts this year. He said he doesn't expect his knee to ever be 100 percent, but added, "If it's like this, I can deal with it. We'll just have to see . . . I feel pretty good. I'm putting a lot of weight on it."


Trainer's room

Mark Teixeira, who was a late scratch Monday after feeling lightheaded, returned to the lineup . . . Masahiro Tanaka tested his elbow by playing catch for the second straight day . . . Cashman said Michael Pineda is not a candidate to start Friday in place of David Phelps, but could rejoin the rotation after his minor league rehab start that night.

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