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Dr. James Andrews: CC Sabathia has degenerative changes in his knee

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's visit to Dr. James Andrews produced a bit of news after all.

In reviewing the MRI that showed fluid on the 33-year-old's right knee, Andrews also diagnosed "degenerative changes" in the knee, according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

"Andrews confirmed no meniscus tear," Cashman said before Wednesday night's game at Citi Field. "There are degenerative changes in his knee. He will receive an injection of cortisone with some stem cell to try and deal with those degenerations."

Cashman said the procedure will be done Thursday in Birmingham, Ala., where Sabathia saw Andrews Tuesday for a second opinion.

"That's the typical protocol when you see some of those degenerative changes in the knee," Cashman said. "His knee stability is fine, there's no ligament damages and stuff like that, so the knee is stable. But he does have some degenerative changes. You say, what does that mean? He's got some cartilage breakdown that is occurring."

Cashman said he did not want to give a prognosis until speaking with Andrews after he completes the procedure. But he did say "we have had current and past players," who have dealt with a similar condition, including Hideki Matsui, Randy Johnson and, currently, Carlos Beltran.

"You drain the knee, you inject the cortisone and stem cell treatment into the knee and then you see how he responds to it," Cashman said. "That's the typical protocol for that and there have been a number of successes throughout that process. Hopefully, CC will be in that success also."

Beltran DL-bound?

Beltran received a cortisone shot in his right elbow Tuesday to try and calm a bone spur that is causing him pain in the hopes of avoiding surgery. The outfielder is not on the disabled list but Cashman called it "a possibility."

"He feels kind of similar today I think than yesterday. If he's better, it's by a hair," Cashman said. "I'm concerned.""Right now we have an injury and we're obviously seeing if responds to cortisone treatment and that has not declared itself yet. So it's a concern."

New York Sports