May 10, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Better Understanding Sabathia's Knee Injury

If you’re like any other Yankees’ fan, you were really frustrated watching C.C. Sabathia‘s pitching this year. His velocity was down from 93 mph to around 89 mph. He looked like he was having serious physical problems, so it wasn’t surprising when Sabathia landed on the DL with a knee injury, and when he was diagnosed with knee degeneration, it made it even more evident why he hasn’t been his normal, dominant self. Lets get into this a little more.

Sabathia’s knee degeneration condition probably is a result of his past knee surgical history. Knee degeneration means that the cartilage in his knee is wearing down. As Sabathia goes to plant on his femur (thigh bone) and extends his tibia (lower leg bone) to throw a pitch, he probably was experiencing pretty significant pain, and that explains his decrease in velocity, and lack of movement on his breaking pitches. The Yankees have decided to go with stem cell injections to try and relieve some of the pain, and help heal the injury. The downside to this, is that it usually takes months for this to work, as stem cell injections actually rejuvenate the cartilage. And that takes some time. There have been whispers of Sabathia missing the rest of the season. Hopefully the big guy comes back strong this year.


  • Synvisc injections:  This is just like a lube job on rusty springs in your car. It works for a short period of time but is not a permanent cure.
  • Corticosteroid Injections:  This is used to relieve swelling in arthritic knees . Again this is not a permanent fix.
  • Knee Surgery: Depending on the condition of his knees, simple arthroscopic surgery, to clean out and smooth edges may do the the trick.

Until Sabathia begins to rehabilitate towards making a return to the mound, the medical staff and the team have no idea how his knee will react, and whether or not he’s even able to return and be a serviceable big league starter in 2014.


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