Late Thursday night, it was reported that Sabathia would be making a visit to see Dr. James Andrews to get his knee further evaluated after he woke up with swelling in the knee and an MRI confirmed just that and the Yankees have shut down his rehab progress indefinitely.
However, as Buster Olney of ESPN has reported on Friday, there's a possibility that Sabathia could require microfracture surgery on the knee, in which case, if that surgery is needed, it would put Sabathia's career in serious doubt going forward.
There continues to be a possibility that CC Sabathia will require microfracture surgery on his knee, with an uncertain pitching future.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 4, 2014
At this stage of his career, given the degenerative knee condition that he's going through already, plus potentially needing that kind of surgery, it could almost be a death sentence to Sabathia. Football players in the NFL have had that kind of surgery in their 20's and have never been the same; Sabathia at 33, going on 34 later this month, would almost be staring at retirement in the face.
Sabathia, who was 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA before landing on the disabled list back on May 11, is still under contract to the Yankees until at least 2016 with a vesting option for 2017. Sabathia is owed $23 million in 2014, $23 million in 2015 and $25 million in 2016, plus $25 million in 2017 in the vesting option year, so if Sabathia is forced to retire, the Yankees would save anywhere from $48-73 million on Sabathia's contract. Sabathia originally signed a seven-year, $162 million deal with the Yankees before the 2009 season and then after the 2011 season, re-worked his deal to get the two years extended onto the deal for 2016 and 2017.
The Yankees were hopeful to get Sabathia back just after the All Star break, but now it looks like not only will that not be happening, they may not see their one-time ace again this season and potentially, ever again if he needs that kind of extensive surgery.
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