Sabathia was diagnosed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the procedure will be performed by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad. Sabathia will begin therapy immediately after the surgery and is scheduled to begin his regular routine in preparation for Spring Training after three to six weeks.
After pitching brilliantly in the 2009 postseason (eight earned runs in 36 1/3 innings) to help the Yankees claim their 27th World Series title, Sabathia was uncharacteristically ineffective in the playoffs this season, allowing 10 earned runs and 22 hits in 16 innings.
It was not immediately clear how long the knee injury might have been ailing Sabathia. Historically a terrific second-half performer, Sabathia also had some blips on the radar late in the year.
He was hammered by the Orioles for five earned runs on Sept. 7, and after locking up in a magnificent duel with the Rays' David Price on Sept. 13 -- firing eight innings of scoreless two-hit ball -- Sabathia was spanked by the Rays for seven runs in 5 1/3 innings on Sept. 23 at Yankee Stadium, before besting the Blue Jays five days later for his 21st win.
Sabathia, who turns 31 in July, signed a seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees following the 2008 season. He has been a workhorse in each of his two seasons in the Bronx, starting 34 games and logging more than 230 innings in each year while logging 40 total victories.
Though the surgery is described as minor, the Yankees have to have some trepidation. The right leg is the plant leg for the 300-pound Sabathia, and landing repeatedly on a surgically repaired knee might become problematic.