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Yankees' CC Sabathia has setback, return from injury now uncertain

Photo: (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

CC Sabathia has been on the disabled list since May 11.

New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia experienced a setback in his rehab from a degenerative right knee condition, manager Joe Girardi said Thursday. Sabathia had an MRI Thursday and has been shut down again indefinitely. His return date — expected to be soon after the All-Star break — is now uncertain.

"I can’t tell you how long he’s going to be shut down,” Girardi told reporters before the Yankees' game against the Minnesota Twins Thursday night, according to the Bergen Record (N.J.). “It’s not what you want, but you’ve got to deal with it.

"We were hopeful that the swelling would stay away and he would be in our rotation fairly soon. But it doesn’t appear that that’s going to happen."

Sabathia experienced swelling in his knee on Thursday, a day after he was roughed up in a rehab start for the Double-A Trenton Thunder. He has been on the disabled list since May 11 with inflammation in the knee, and he hasn't pitched for the Yankees since May 10. 

Sabathia pitched only 3 1/3 innings on Wednesday for the Thunder, giving up five runs (three of them earned) on five hits. The Yankees, who might now explore the trade market for a starting pitcher, had been eagerly anticipating his return, as they have played below-.500 baseball since his injury.

In addition to Sabathia, starters Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova are also on the disabled list.  The injury rash has forced the Yankees to rely heavily on unproven starters Chase Whitley, David Phelps, and Vidal Nuno

Before he went on the disabled list, Sabathia struggled, going 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA in eight starts.

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