New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte is making positive progress in his attempt to return from a fractured left ankle as he is able to push off the mound harder than any other point during his rehabilitation.
Sidelined since June 28 after being hit with a line drive, the 40-year-old left-hander stated that his session on Sunday was the best he's felt through the grueling process. Now, the focus turns to figuring out what the next course of action will be.
"We'll report back to the doctor and our trainers and see what the next step is. I know they were talking about - if this went good - maybe doing a batting practice as quick as possible to get some hitters in there. I don't know when that will be.''
Manager Joe Girardi is pleased with Pettitte's progress and stated that his ability to throw off the mound proves he can come back. Girardi was unsure of the next step but believed he would be throwing again in three days.
Asked if he would rule out a return to the Yankees next season, Pettitte said, "No, I wouldn't. I mean, I'll go home again and talk to my family about it and pray about it and really I'll do what I feel like is the right thing to do. I really can't tell you right now that there's no way I'm (not) going to play."
Pettitte indicated that he was healed from the broken ankle but now needs to avoid a rehab setback, like the one he suffered in Seattle.
After coming out of retirement, the veteran Yankee proved himself as a valuable member of the rotation this season, posting a 3-3 record with a 3.22 ERA before the injury.
Andy Pettitte has suffered a minor setback in his recovery from a fracture in his left fibula. The New York Yankees left-hander had to momentarily suspend his throwing program but is still looking to return in August.
"Doc said he was hoping it would be healed a little better than it was," Pettitte said. "The first two weeks it healed really quick and I feel like we have slowed down a little bit. He said, 'Let's try to stay off it a little bit.' That is where we are at."
Pettitte worked his way up to 55 pitches throwing off flat ground. Progress came a bit too quickly, however, and staying on his feet increased swelling around the ankle. Pettitte still has approximately one more month left on his 60-day stint on the disabled list, so there is still a chance he'll be ready to return as soon as he possibly can.
Pettitte said about his uneasy wait to return to action, "I'm antsy. You wanna work. If you're not able to pitch, you wanna be able to go for a run, but I'm just trying to be patient and try to stay in shape."
Pettitte did not experience any discomfort while throwing on Friday on flat grown prior to the Yankees' game against the Angels and says his ankle feels "100 better than it has been." He has Sept. 1 circled for his return from the injury. The Yankees will be in the second game of a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on that date.
Pettitte's ankle was fractured on June 27 when a line drive off the bat of Indians first baseman Casey Kotchman struck it. In nine starts in 2012, the 40-year-old veteran is 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA.
Pettitte's ankle was broken by a baseball hit by Casey Kotchman in the fifth inning. Pettitte threw one pitch to Lou Marson before limping off the mound. That same day, CC Sabathia was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin. Freddy Garcia and Adam Warren will take over their spots in the five-man rotation.
Pettitte is 3-3 on the season with a 3.22 ERA following Wednesday's shortened outing.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte suffered a broken ankle on Wednesday, the same day it was announced that fellow starter CC Sabathia was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin.
Pettitte is expected to miss the next six weeks with a fractured left ankle after leaving his start against the Cleveland Indians in the fifth inning, but he is not expected to require surgery. Pettitte left his outing Wednesday after being struck by a comebacker in the fifth inning.
Cleveland's first batter in the fifth inning, Casey Kotchman, roped a comebacker off Pettitte's left ankle. The Yankees' lefty remained in the game temporarily after the incident, but left the game limping after throwing one pitch to the next hitter, Lou Marson.
Pettitte entered Wednesday with a 3-3 record and a 3.29 ERA. He allowed three hits and one unearned run against the Indians on Wednesday.
Pettitte's left ankle was struck by a grounder off the bat of Casey Kotchman, the first batter Pettitte faced in the fifth. The Yankees' lefty remained in the game temporarily, but lasted only one more pitch before being relieved by Cody Eppley. Pettitte limped off the mound and into the dugout with a 2-1 lead.
The extent of Pettitte's injury isn't immediately clear. The 40-year-old entered Wednesday's outing at 3-3 with a 3.29 ERA and 59 strikeouts over 58.2 innings pitched. He allowed three hits and one unearned run over four-plus innings on Wednesday.