Pettitte still on pace to return in September

Despite what Yankees fans may have read or heard in various media outlets, Andy Pettitte did not suffer a setback in his rehabilitation from a fractured left fibula. At the time of his injury June 27, it was noted that Pettitte’s recovery would take six to eight weeks. I wrote that day that the most generous timetable would be that he might be back around Labor Day.

None of that has changed. Pettitte had been throwing off flat ground and was told recently by doctors to hold off on that to allow more time for the bone to heal. Andy was overenthusiastic about a quick comeback when he rejoined the Yankees on their previous homestand, but that was just wishful thinking.

Pettitte is 40 years old. His bones are 40 years old. It takes more time for any injury to heal at that age. The healing process isn’t always smooth. There can be detours along the way, which is where Andy is right now.

“I would not call it a setback,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It is just part of the healing process. We are still looking at the same timetable.”

The press crew tends to go overboard with these injury updates. Recently, Mariano Rivera said in a radio interview that he would be back on the mound before this season ends. Rivera at 42 is even older than Pettitte. That is not going to happen, either. Rivera is recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The operation took place June 12, a full month after Mo was taken off the field at Kansas City writhing in pain. Rivera says he wants to pitch again, and there is a good chance that he will but not in 2012.

The most positive news involving a disabled Yankees player is that of Joba Chamberlain, who is scheduled to pitch again Tuesday night for Double A Trenton and could be back with the Yanks as soon as next week. Then again, he is not in his 40s.

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