TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte was scratched from his start Wednesday against Tampa Bay because of irritation in his left elbow.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Pettitte will make his next scheduled start in five days, and that the problem will not keep the pitcher from being ready for the start of the regular season.
``It is nothing serious,'' Girardi said. ``He's mad at us for not letting him throw today, but it was kind of an executive decision that we made. We figure we'll just back him off and he'll make his next start, and it won't change where he starts during the season.''
Pettitte said he felt the discomfort near the outside of the elbow after his last bullpen session. The lefty said he thought it might be tendinitis.
``I don't know if I've ever had tendinitis before. I guess this would be a classic case,'' he said.
``I don't feel like it's going to be a problem, I really don't,'' he said. ``I thought my bullpens were great. Once I loosened up, I felt really good. They're very cautious here. I understand.''
Pettitte said previous trouble with his elbow had always been on the inside of the joint. He'd never experienced problems on the outside part of his elbow.
``They don't want me to aggravate it,'' he said.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he is not concerned about the injury.
``There's no hidden thing going on here,'' Cashman said. ``He could have went today. We talked about it and said, 'Why bother. It's March.' So we pushed him back a few days.''
Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon, who bruised his right toe when he fouled a ball off it Monday, missed his second straight game Wednesday, but he might play Thursday.
``If it was the season, I'd play today,'' Damon said. ``There was no chance yesterday. I think I'll play tomorrow. We'll just have to wait and see.''
Hideki Matsui, who is coming off surgery on his right knee last November, was the designated hitter for the third time this spring. Girardi said Matsui will make his first start in left field, ``very soon.''
Shelley Duncan, who fouled a ball of his left shin Tuesday, was in the lineup for the game against the Rays.

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