UPDATED: Pettitte 'definitely better'

August, 5, 2012
8/05/12
12:36
PM ET
Andy Pettitte had an X-ray on Sunday and "he's definitely better," according to manager Joe Girardi. The lefty, who is sidelined with a fractured left fibula, still isn't ready to throw off a mound just yet, though.

"We try to keep him exercising his legs the best we can and hopefully it continues to go the right direction," Girardi said after the Yankees defeated the Mariners Sunday.

The veteran, who was placed on the disabled list on June 28, has been swimming, riding a bike and throwing in the cage over the past week. Pettitte shut down his throwing routine for a few days recently after he experienced some swelling and discomfort. He said the swelling was giving him some problems walking.

"I think I may have did a little too much and that was frustrating for me and kind of scared me," Pettitte said. "This homestand, we just wanted to make sure I back off whatever I'm doing and just try to let this thing heal up as good as it can. That's what we're waiting to see. I'm waiting for the doctors to tell me I can get on a mound and start throwing."

The lefty had been throwing on flat ground before experienced the setback. He said last week that his doctor had told him that he'd hoped the injury would have healed a little bit quicker than it had. He last had an X-ray a little more than a week ago.

"I think (the X-ray) will give the doctors the comfort in saying, 'OK, you can do this or you can do that,'" Pettitte said. "That will give me comfort because I don't want to do anything to aggravate this going. I'm going to wait until they tell me what to do."

Pettitte has missed 33 games followings Sunday's contest against Seattle, and is 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in nine starts since he came out of retirement. Sunday's starter, Freddy Garcia, has been his replacement and is 3-3 with a 3.95 ERA since taking over, including a win in Sunday's 6-2 victory.

"I have no clue. I have no idea. I've never had a broken leg. If it was my elbow, I'd tell you," Pettitte said about throwing. "I have no idea how this thing will feel when I lift up and try to raise my leg and put all my weight down on the mound."

Pettitte is eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 28 but the Yankees have been planning for later than that.

"(September is) our hope. Obviously it takes time," Girardi said. "When you miss as much time as he has you have to build a guy up and the one thing you have to do is you can't rush him and make him come back too soon when he's not ready. We'll just take it day by day."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.288 14 64 64
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 64
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .787
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAH. Kuroda 3.88
SOM. Tanaka 135