TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -New York Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte was scratched from his start Wednesday against Tampa Bay due to a minor muscle irritation in his left forearm.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Pettitte will make his next scheduled start in five days, and that the injury 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.''
Girardi said Pettitte felt the discomfort near the elbow after his last bullpen session.
``I don't feel like it's going to be a problem, I really don't,'' Pettitte said. ``I thought my bullpens were great. Once I loosened up, I felt really good. They're very cautious here. I understand.''
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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