Joba Chamberlain #62 of the New York Yankees looks on...

Joba Chamberlain #62 of the New York Yankees looks on during batting practice before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (June 9, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

What the Yankees feared became official Friday: Joba Chamberlain will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery to replace a torn ligament in his right elbow.

Chamberlain will travel Wednesday to Pensacola, Fla., where Dr. James Andrews will perform the procedure the following day. The decision was made after Andrews reviewed Chamberlain's MRI.

"I was pretty settled he was going to have surgery," manager Joe Girardi said before Friday night's game against the Indians. "I've really never seen anyone except maybe R.A. Dickey who's pitched without ."

Girardi said he expects Chamberlain to be out about a year, which is the standard timetable for the procedure.

The 25-year-old reliever, who has toggled between starting and the bullpen during his five-season tenure with the Yankees, said he already has sought advice from teammates A.J. Burnett, Lance Pendleton and Yankees baseball operations assistant Brett Weber about what to expect. All three have undergone Tommy John surgery.

"It's long. That's about it," Chamberlain said of the recovery time. "Like I said, everybody's different. Some people's pain threshold is better. Some people's is worse. Some people take longer, some people take shorter. I'll just have the surgery, hope it goes well and start from there."

Knowing he is in good hands -- Andrews is the doctor of renown for Tommy John surgery -- has helped Chamberlain quell any fears about his future.

"Obviously the guy who's doing it, I think has done it a few times so I'm pretty confident he'll do a good job," he said. "The rest lies on me in making sure I get back to where I can be and stronger."

Before having his 2011 season cut short, Chamberlain was 2-0 with a 2.83 ERA in 27 games. He has 24 strikeouts in 282/3 innings.

David Robertson, who has excelled this season in his role as the seventh-inning man, will be used in the eighth to set up closer Mariano Rivera. Luis Ayala will replace Robertson for the seventh.

Chamberlain vowed not to dwell on the grim prognosis; instead he planned to approach the surgery and recovery process with a positive attitude.

"It is what it is," Chamberlain said. "There's no thinking about it. It's just going to be taking it one day at a time. There's going to be good days and bad days but you have to make the most of it and come back stronger and work your tail off to get there."

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