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Astros could put him back on DL

HOUSTON -- Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte has a small tear in the flexor tendon of his left elbow, and team officials plan to evaluate the injury over the next couple of days before deciding whether he'll need to return to the disabled list.

Pettitte's sore elbow forced him out of his start Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks after the fifth inning. He's already been on the disabled list twice this season with left arm injuries.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," Pettitte said in the
clubhouse before Tuesday's game against Arizona. "Tomorrow I'm
going to throw and play catch to see how it feels. I'm planning on
pitching Saturday."

Injuries have limited Pettitte to 13 starts since he signed
with his hometown Astros in the offseason. He was on the DL from
April 7-29 with a left elbow strain and again from May 27 to June
28 with a left forearm strain.

Pettitte is 6-4 with a 4.11 ERA after a 4-1 loss Monday night.

The Astros' left-hander was clearly discouraged about this
latest setback.

"This has definitely been a very frustrating year," Pettitte
said. "I just want to feel good."

Both Pettitte and team officials were optimistic that he'd likely
be able to continue pitching this season, as long as he could deal
with the discomfort in his elbow.

Team doctors have told Pettitte that he can't do any further
damage to the arm if he continues to play. There's a good
possibility, however, that Pettitte will need surgery on the elbow
once the season ends.

"If he can give us five or six good innings, we'll take it,"
general manager Gerry Hunsicker said.