CHICAGO (AP) -Andy Pettitte was feeling better Monday and plans to make his next scheduled start for the New York Yankees after leaving Sunday's game against the Boston Red Sox with a stiff lower back.
Pettitte is scheduled to throw in the bullpen Wednesday and start Friday against Pittsburgh.
``I was concerned because I've been feeling so good, you don't want to have anything causing you any kind of discomfort out there,'' he said. ``Once it happened, I wanted to make sure I didn't aggravate it, have me out for a long time.''
Pettitte tweaked his back in the third inning, when he turned to look at Wily Mo Pena's fly to center field. He stayed in the game and took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth.
Boston loaded the bases on singles by Jason Varitek, Pena and Coco Crisp. Pettitte struck out Julio Lugo on a 3-2 pitch but grimaced as he threw the fastball. Manager Joe Torre and trainer Gene Monahan came out to the mound, but Pettitte stayed in the game - for three more pitches.
Pettitte said the stiffness was in the same area where he injured his back in spring training, but the Yankees let out a sigh of relief on Monday.
``In spring training, I couldn't bend over for two weeks,'' Pettitte said. ``And I feel real good today.''
At 24-30 and 12 1/2 games behind Boston entering Monday's game, the Yankees can't afford to lose Pettitte, who is 3-4 with a 2.96 ERA.
``I just told him, 'I don't want you to think you need to pitch Friday,''' manager Joe Torre said. ``But again, he's a lot more comfortable than I anticipated he'd be.''

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