NEW YORK -- Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano has a pair of broken
ribs, sustained in a mid-August car accident that the oft-injured
right-hander didn't tell the team about until Monday.
Pavano, who hasn't played in the major leagues since June 27,
2005, due to shoulder, back, buttocks and elbow injuries, is
scheduled for a medical checkup Tuesday and remains on track to
make his final rehabilitation start Wednesday for Triple-A Columbus
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was unusually pointed in
his remarks about Pavano, who signed a $39.95 million, four-year
contract with the Yankees as a free agent before the 2005 season
and went 4-6 with a 4.77 ERA in 17 major league starts before going
on the disabled list.
"I think it's obviously frustrating, disappointing. There's a
lot of words which would come to mind," Cashman said. "Of course
I'm angry. ... I've got an army of people here that we provide to
put our players in the best position possible to succeed, and I
don't want anybody to sabotage that by holding back. And clearly
here, for a period of time that took place."
New York had hoped Pavano possibly would be able to rejoin its
rotation this week, filling the spot opened when Mike Mussina went
on the disabled list last week with a strained right groin. Pavano
and Cashman both expressed hope that this latest injury wouldn't
keep Pavano from rejoining the major league team when rosters
expand this week.
Authorities in Florida said they have no record of the accident, and Lt. Tim Frith of the Florida Highway Patrol acknowledged Tuesday the accident may not have been reported to authorities.
The Yankees would not comment on whether they will pursue any action against Pavano contract-wise. Prior to the 2004 season, the organization terminated the contract of Aaron Boone, who hurt his knee while playing basketball in the offseason, a violation of his contract.
"I still want to pitch and get through this," said Pavano, who
has been trying to come back from surgery on May 25 to remove a
bone chip from his right elbow.
Pavano said he was hurt early Aug. 15 in West Palm Beach, Fla.,
when on a rainy night his car hit a puddle, spun out of control and
hit a truck that was at a stop sign.
"Of course I'm angry. ... I've got an army of people here that we provide to put our players in the best position possible to succeed, and I don't want anybody to sabotage that by holding back. And clearly here, for a period of time that took place."
-- Brian Cashman
"There was no ambulance or anything. I was able to walk away
from it," Pavano said. "I had my seat belt on. I think that's the
area where maybe I got injured, is where the seat belt was."
Pavano lives in West Palm Beach and had permission to go home,
Cashman said. Pavano said his lack of performance with the Yankees
led to his decision not to initially inform the team.
"It's been pretty frustrating for not only the city, the team,
my teammates, myself, management," he said. "It just seems like
it's one thing after another. I'm not impervious to this because I
make a lot of money and I play baseball."
After the accident, Pavano pitched four shutout innings that
night for Class A Tampa at Brevard County, the first of three rehab
"It just seems like there's a lot of distractions that are
caused by me that go around with the team, and I figured that, at
the time, it was something I could get through," he said. "I felt
all right. I knew something was wrong, I didn't know the extent of
it, but I figured that I'd pitch through it and it would get
better. I just didn't seem to get better, and that's the only
reason why I really went to the team."
Pavano pitched six innings for Columbus last Friday and told the
Yankees he felt rib discomfort the following day, when the team was
thinking about bringing him to the major leagues for his next
start. A baseball official, speaking on condition of anonymity
because the team is only just starting its own investigation, said
Pavano did not tell the club about the accident until Monday, when
a scan revealed the injury.
"I needed a doctor's opinion on what kind of treatment I
needed," he said. "I figured the best thing to do was come clean
with it and get the right treatment."
Cashman rejected the notion that Pavano told the team then
because he didn't want to pitch again at the major league level. He
said Pavano threw a side session Monday.
"We have had players play with this issue before," Cashman said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.