Astros could put him back on DL

Updated: July 27, 2004, 10:34 PM ET
Associated Press

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.

Andy Pettitte
Starting Pitcher
Houston Astros
13 6 4 0 71 4.11

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.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press