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Yankees' CC Sabathia goes on disabled list with right knee inflammation

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MILWAUKEE - The New York Yankees' injury-plagued rotation has taken another big hit.

Struggling left-hander CC Sabathia was placed on the 15-day disabled list before Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers with inflammation in his right knee. Manager Joe Girardi said he hoped Sabathia would just need two weeks.

Sabathia had right knee surgery at the end of the 2006 season while with the Cleveland Indians. This is the only time he has experienced inflammation since the operation, Sabathia said.

Both skipper and pitcher were relieved that the injury wasn't more serious.

"See the doctor tomorrow and go from there," Sabathia said after Sunday's game. "There's no tear so hopefully everything will be all right."

The move came a day after Sabathia allowed three home runs in a no-decision against the Brewers. Milwaukee won 5-4.

Sabathia is making $23 million this season, the sixth in a deal that will pay him $161 million over 7 years. He is 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA, with opponents hitting .301 off him this season.

Until now, all the questions about Sabathia were about his arm and a drop in velocity. Turns out his right knee is a bigger problem.

Sabathia said he started feeling a tweak a couple starts ago. He said it got worse through his start May 4 against Tampa, when he gave up five runs and 10 hits in 3-2/3 innings.

The lefty came forward to Girardi about his knee after his start Saturday against the Brewers, when he said he felt it most of the game.

"He said that his knee was hurting; his landing knee, his right knee but he hadn't mentioned anything to us before that," Girardi said.

The Yankees will have to find yet another pitcher to plug into the rotation with Sabathia having been scheduled to pitch next on Thursday night against the Mets at Citi Field in the Subway Series.

The once-reliable ace has lost his touch at a time when the Yankees needed him most. New York is already minus two injured starters in Ivan Nova (season-ending elbow surgery) and Michael Pineda (back). Japanese rookie Masahiro Tanaka has taken over at the top of a rotation that looked formidable just a few weeks ago.

Sabathia said he didn't say anything earlier because the rotation already had problems, "but I'll do more damage to the team by trying to hide it."

Right-hander Matt Daley was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Sabathia's spot on the roster.

Pineda had completed his 10-game suspension for using pine tar and was placed on the 15-day DL last week. Girardi said Pineda was playing catch, though his recovery might take a little longer than the initial timetable of three to four weeks.

Girardi also said that reliever Shawn Kelley's sore back is feeling better. Kelley last pitched Tuesday against the Angels.

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