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Yankees allowed Pavano to attend to girlfriend

3/12/2007 - MLB Carl Pavano New York Yankees + more

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano says he missed
his scheduled spring training start last Friday because of a
medical situation involving his girlfriend.

Pavano, who discussed the matter for the first time Sunday, left
Legends Field about 45 minutes before Friday's game after receiving
permission from the team. The right-hander returned Saturday and
threw a 45-pitch bullpen session in preparation for a start Monday
night against Boston.

"The reason I left, my girlfriend had a severe medical
condition and I had to be with her," Pavano said.

Pavano didn't give specifics about the problem, but said his
girlfriend is "doing well."

Pavano didn't ask for permission to leave Friday, but was told
to by New York manager Joe Torre.

"It definitely weighed on me," Pavano said. "There definitely
was a little bit of a struggle about me wanting to pitch. I went
with the voice of reason because my head was kind of going in both
directions. In life, sometimes there are things you've got to take
care of that take precedent over that."

Pavano has made one spring start, on March 4 -- eight days after
his left instep was bruised by a line drive during batting
practice. Pavano, who is starting the third season of a $39.95
million, four-year contract, hasn't pitched in the major leagues
since June 27, 2005, due to shoulder, back, buttocks, elbow and rib injuries.

"I'm looking forward to my start tomorrow," Pavano said.
"It's not the first time I've had issues or things going on."