Sabathia's right knee, for which he usually wears a brace, has been a recurring ailment for him over the past couple of years, and after he returned from surgery this offseason, the initial plan was for Sabathia to receive shots at different points this season to prevent his knee problems from flaring up again.
That did not happen, however. Sabathia said that before Tuesday's injury, he had not received a shot for his knee since January.
"We had a plan to do the shots that I did the other day throughout the year, but we didn't because I felt great," Sabathia said. "I felt like every time we checked [on the knee], there was no swelling, no symptoms."
Manager Joe Girardi said, though, that he isn't second-guessing the way the team handled Sabathia's knee, calling it a "tricky situation."
"There were no symptoms," Girardi said. "You hate to give a guy shots when he doesn't have symptoms, because later on, he might have symptoms and you need to give him [the shots], and it could be too soon.
"It's somewhat of a fragile knee that has held up really well. It just kind of sprung on him that day, and it shocked him, it shocked us."
It shocked Sabathia so much that he said he was worried that he wouldn't be able to play again this season. For a 37-year-old with a recent history of knee problems, it's hard not to assume the worst.
"I was freaking out," Sabathia said. "I was in a lot of pain. I just felt like I let the team down. I was disappointed in myself for letting my knee get to this point. ... My MRI made me feel kind of better, and then my wife talked me straight."
The Yankees received good news on Wednesday when an MRI revealed no new damage in Sabathia's knee.
Left-hander Jordan Montgomery was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will start in Sabathia's place Sunday night vs. the Red Sox.
Even so, Sabathia said he thinks he'll be ready to make his next scheduled start following Sunday night, which would be next weekend against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"Whenever they want me," said Sabathia of when he'll be ready to take the mound again. "Probably not Sunday just because I can't throw a bullpen [session until then], but definitely the next time around."