Sabathia upbeat about Wednesday return

Sabathia upbeat about Wednesday return

NEW YORK -- There was a time -- about two weeks ago -- when CC Sabathia was stuck in limbo, wondering if he'd take the mound again in 2015 and hoping for a dose of good news.

"I didn't know what to think before going to see the doctor," he said. "I thought, 'Maybe the season's over, who knows what's going to happen?'"

Now the veteran lefty has some clarity.

After landing on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation on Aug. 24, Sabathia is pitching again and is on track to start Wednesday against the Orioles. Manager Joe Girardi said Friday that was the plan after Sabathia threw a simulated game at Yankee Stadium.

Girardi was curious to see how Sabathia's knee felt in the coming days after the simulated game, and on Sunday, Sabathia said he felt normal. He indicated he's ready to return to the mound without any concerns.

"I've been testing it pretty good in the bullpens," he said. "Even playing catch on the side, I was letting it go. I was confident that I wouldn't feel anything and I would be ready to go."

In 24 starts this season, Sabathia is 4-9 with a 5.27 ERA. He has a plethora of experience against the Orioles, owning an 18-7 record against them in 32 career starts.

Now that his new protective knee brace is giving the right knee the support it needs, Sabathia plans on it becoming a permanent fixture when he takes the mound. Asked if it affects his ability to field his position, Sabathia's response garnered a few laughs.

"I never field my position that great anyway. These guys knows that," he said. "I need [Greg Bird] to go over there and take everything he can get. Anything going to the right toward third base, I'm pretty good at. Anything toward left, I've always been bad."

Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.