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Andy Pettitte likely to return from DL on Monday

Southpaw to make return against Indians at Yankee Stadium
05/30/2013 5:47 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Pettitte was pulled from his last start against Seattle in the fifth inning.(AP)
It's all but official, as both Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Andy Pettitte himself said prior to Thursday's game that the veteran southpaw will likely return from the disabled list to pitch against Cleveland on Monday.

"We're looking at possibly Monday," Girardi said, with Pettitte later confirming that "I feel good, but they wanted to give me an extra day, so we're looking at Monday and I'm looking forward to coming back."

Pettitte has been on the disabled list since May 18, one day after leaving his last start against Seattle in the fifth inning due to a strained trapezius muscle.

General manager Brian Cashman said at the time that the team was "playing it safe" by sending Pettitte to the DL, and the lefty said Thursday that caution worked out on all counts.

"Like I told you all the night it happened, they never sent me for an MRI or anything, they just thought it was a muscle spasm," Pettitte said. "I think they were being cautious with me, and that's good; it was locked up pretty good, and if I had to miss a start, where we were, it was the best thing to do."

Pettitte is eligible to come off Sunday, but the extra day is likely nothing more than a clerical pushback because Hiroki Kuroda is on turn to pitch that night.

"I feel pretty confident that I just needed the two weeks, and I'm just thankful that I felt good the other day when I threw," Pettitte said. "I just want to get out there and go through the grind; that's what I came back for, and it's tough when you're left watching guys out there competing."

Pettitte did say prior to going on the DL that he might need to alter his routine between starts and lighten his workload a bit, and he reiterated on Thursday that it is still a work in progress.

"We're trying to figure that out, and it's been frustrating because I have a certain routine and I want to be on it," Pettitte says. "It's an adjustment, and I'll make an adjustment here and maybe not throw two bullpens in between starts."

The team will likely get both Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis back this weekend as well, and while Pettitte was happy that the band was getting back together so to speak, he also lamented not being able to have one core player who is out of the lineup again.

"You want to get your team back together, and Youk and Tex are huge parts of this club; to get (Teixeira) back and have him not have any issues with that wrist is important," Pettitte said. "It's such a long season and we're playing well, we're in a long stretch now but it's definitely a good time to get the guys back together; it makes me think of Grandy (Curtis Granderson) and how it's a shame, what terrible luck for him to get that other hand broken like that."

Lefty Vidal Nuno, who was set to make his second start in Pettitte's place on Thursday night, will likely be returned to Triple-A when Andy does return, but the veteran southpaw had nothing but positive things to say about the youngster.

"He's just got a great idea of what he's doing out there; he doesn't try to do too much, he doesn't overthrow, and he can change speeds and locate the ball very well," Pettitte said. "He's very confident and very aggressive, and he's done a great job for us. He's going to be able to stick around for a very long time if he keeps doing what he's been doing."

 

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