Yankees allowed Pavano to attend to 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."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
SPRING TRAINING NEWS
Follow the day's news from spring training in the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues as we begin the countdown toward Opening Day on Sunday (Mets at world champion Cardinals, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2):
• Colon, Weaver, Figgins on DL
• Pirates send Sanchez to the DL
• Rogers has clot removed, will miss first half
• Sabathia throws, says he's ready for opener
• Pavano to start Opening Day for Yankeees
• A's put Dan Johnson on DL with hip injury
• Walker signs minor league deal with A's
• Grapefruit: Towers wins spot in Jays' rotation
• Cactus: Big Unit to start season on DL