Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that star pitcher CC Sabathia will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery Friday. The New York Yankees announced that the pitcher has a small tear of his meniscus in his right knee. The team expects that Sabathia will be ready to start his preseason training 3 to 6 weeks after surgery.

The meniscus is a C-shaped shock absorber in the knee between the femur and the tibia. While I don’t know the exact details in this case, I expect that Sabathia had an aggravating pain, probably toward the back of his knee, when he twisted or pushed off his right leg. He likely has dealt with this pain for some time, depending on when he injured it, and he likely tried to pitch through the remainder of the season. When the season ended, he likely decided to go ahead and treat it and start the rehabilitation process as soon as possible.

Judging from the Yankees’ expectation that Sabathia will be able to train in 3 to 6 weeks, it sounds like he will have a partial meniscectomy. This is an arthroscopic knee surgery in which the surgeon will trim out the inner part of the meniscus that is torn. He will likely be allowed to bear weight almost immediately after surgery, and he will progress fairly rapidly through the rehabilitation process. On the other hand, some meniscus tears allow the surgeon to repair them, or sew them back together with stitches. Typically a meniscus repair is a more lengthy recovery, as the surgeon will often keep the athlete from putting weight on his leg for several weeks after the surgery. Typically this is a longer recovery time.

Please read more about meniscal tears and surgery to treat a torn meniscus.

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