Yankees

CC Sabathia Has ‘Degenerative Changes’ In Knee, Will Receive Cortisone Shot

CC Sabathia (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

CC Sabathia (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees’ starting rotation, thought to be the club’s strength heading into the season, is in shambles.

Ivan Nova is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Michael Pineda is out until late May — or even early June — with a back strain and CC Sabathia is on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right knee.

Hiroki Kuroda hasn’t been particularly impressive, and aside from Masahiro Tanaka — who has been utterly brilliant in his rookie season — the rotation currently consists of Vidal Nuno, David Phelps and Chase Whitley, who is set to make his major-league debut on Thursday against the Mets.

Though Sabathia hasn’t been anything close to his once-dominant self this season, the Bombers desperately need him back.

The six-time All-Star visited Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday, and it was revealed that the 33-year-old does not have any meniscus damage.

But he’s not out of the woods yet.

There are degenerative changes in his knee,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said, according to the New York Post. “He is going to receive an injection of cortisone and stem cell to try and deal with this. That’s the protocol when you see degenerative. The knee is stable but he does have degenerative changes. What does that mean? He has cartilage breakdown.

“We have current players and past players that have dealt with this.”

Following a disappointing 2013 campaign, Sabathia has gotten off to a rough start in 2014. The 2007 American League Cy Young Award winner is 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA in eight starts. He’s struck out 48 and walked 10 in 46 innings, but has surrendered 10 home runs.

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