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Nova still slated to start on Saturday

5/18/2012

The Yankees are still planning to send Ivan Nova to the hill on Saturday afternoon, despite the ankle injury he suffered in his last start on Monday.

"The only thing that could change is when he warmed up tomorrow, if he felt it, and it was bothersome," said manager Joe Girardi before Friday night's series opener against the Cincinnati Reds.

Girardi was also asked if he would manage Friday night's game with that in mind -- the possibility that he might need a spot starter if Nova can't go.

"I'll have to see how the game goes," Girardi said. "I gotta manage today, and I'll worry about tomorrow tomorrow."

In an emergency, Girardi could turn to Freddy Garcia, who was yanked from the rotation at the end of April after four ineffective starts. Garcia has made four relief appearances since then, giving up just one run on three hits in seven innings of work.

"Freddy's a guy that I wouldn't mind putting in that position, just to see how he does, because I think he's thrown better since we've gotten him in the bullpen," Girardi said. "But I'd also have to see how he feels after throwing yesterday, but my guess is that he would be OK."

Garcia tossed a scoreless inning in the Yankees' 4-1 loss in Toronto on Thursday night.

The other likely candidate would be rookie David Phelps, who has made nine appearances, including two starts, before Andy Pettitte was added to the rotation. Phelps has an impressive 2.96 ERA, and last pitched on Monday in Baltimore, throwing one scoreless inning.