As the Yankees look for a weekend sweep of the Red Sox Sunday, they will hand the ball to CC Sabathia, who is coming off the IL.
The veteran lefty has been on the IL since his May 22 start that saw another instance of inflammation in his right knee. It has become somewhat of an annual stint on the IL due to that knee.
But this is something Sabathia and the Yankees virtually expect at this point. Sabathia tries his best to keep it in the best shape possible, but he explained how he always feels that slight bit of discomfort on a daily basis. When it's his turn in the rotation, though, it's a matter of how bad.
"I feel my knee if I'm walking from [my locker] to the bathroom," Sabathia told The Post's Howie Kussoy. "It's just a matter of if it gets too bad.
"I felt pretty good coming into the year. It's kind of when it happens, it happens."
This time around, Sabathia didn't appear too worried about it. His knee was drained and he received a cortisone shot to alleviate the inflammation.
"I felt pretty good about it the whole time," he admitted. "When we did the drainage and the show, it wasn't swelling."
Sabathia obviously doesn't want to spend time away from the game, especially being that this is his last season in the league. But if he wishes to pitch deep into the season and hopefully help the Yankees to the championship they so desire, being cautious when feeling extra pain in the knee is necessary.
"Just be smart about it and not push when I don't need to," he said. "That's what [the May 22 start in] Baltimore was. Could I have pushed through it and made a couple more starts? Yeah, but I probably would have been where I was in August in '17 when I was ready to go home and quit. I don't want to get to that point."
Sabathia would much rather continue what he's been doing since that 2017 season, which is being consistent on the back end of the rotation. After posting a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts last season, he has a similar 3.48 ERA over eight starts (41.1 innings) this year.
He'll aim to continue that against his archrival Red Sox tonight.