NEW YORK (AP) -Carl Pavano probably is headed for reconstructive elbow surgery, potentially ending his unproductive stint with the New York Yankees.
After being examined by four doctors over the past few weeks, Pavano met Wednesday with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to go over all the medical documents.
``All four doctors conclude that he has a damaged ligament and recommend Tommy John surgery,'' Cashman said. ``Carl is thinking about, obviously, those recommendations and we'll wait for his decision.''
The right-hander is expected to opt for surgery, which would sideline him for most if not all of the time remaining on his $39.95 million, four-year contract. Cashman expects to hear Pavano's decision soon.
``The time is not on our side, obviously, for him to get totally recovered back pitching in time,'' Cashman said. ``Is it possible? Outside possibility the second half of next year, but everything would have to go right.
``It's unfortunate, it really is. When we signed him we had high expectations.''
Cashman said Pavano has a tear in his elbow ligament.
``Some of the doctors say it's possible that, he's gone through rest and therapy and a throwing program, it's possible to try that again. But there's some risks that can go with that. You could do further damage to the elbow,'' Cashman said.
Pavano hasn't pitched since April 9. He saw Yankees physician Dr. Stuart Hershon, New York Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek, Dr. James Andrews and Los Angeles Angels medical director Dr. Lewis Yocum.
A free-agent bust since signing with the Yankees before the 2005 season, Pavano is 5-7 in 19 starts, including 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in two starts this year. He was sidelined from June 27, 2005, through the 2006 season by shoulder, back, elbow and rib injuries, then returned this year. He felt forearm soreness during a win at Minnesota on April 9, an injury the Yankees didn't originally think was serious.
Cashman said he's seen all the medical records on Pavano the past three years, and all his injuries have been legitimate.
``I never once thought that he laid down on this club,'' Cashman said.
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