New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia underwent heart surgery earlier this month, but the Yankees expect him to make a full recovery, according to The Athletic. He is reported to have already begun limited off-season activity and will have a stress test early in the new year to see if he is fit to resume full training.
Sabathia signed a one-year, $8 million free-agent contract to return to the Yankees as recently as November. 7, but has been with the team since 2009.
On the week of December 10, he was due to join Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley on a trip to London to promote a series of games between the two sides that will take place there in June of next year.
But shortly before his departure, Sabathia began to experience heartburn and acid reflux. He also noticed that he was sweating more than usual when working out on his exercise bike.
The 38-year-old decided to get things checked out, which proved to be a very wise decision. Medics informed him that he had a blockage in one of the arteries leading to his heart and required immediate surgery to insert a stent to open the artery.
The procedure is known as an angioplasty and it is a relatively common operation. More than half a million Americans undergo one every year.
Sabathia checked in with his doctors last week and they confirmed that everything had gone to plan and that both his short- and long-term prognosis was extremely good. It is fortunate that he got things checked out when he did. If he had ignored the symptoms, he would have faced an increased risk of heart attack.
Sabathia’s agent, Kyle Thousand of Roc Nation Sports, told The Athletic in a statement, “CC was experiencing some chest pain which turned out to be a blockage in one artery to his heart. A procedure was done to insert a stent to clear the blockage on Dec. 11. CC is doing great and will be reporting to spring training on time to get ready to play for his upcoming final season in 2019.”
The general manager of the Yankees, Brian Cashman, also released a statement saying, “We are thankful that CC was smart enough to convey his symptoms to our medical staff, and in turn, they immediately engaged NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, who quickly determined the root cause of what ailed him.
“We are also encouraged that the procedure CC underwent was performed as planned. He is such a dynamic person beyond his excellence on the field, and we will proceed with his health at the forefront of our priorities. We will continue to follow the guidance and expertise of the doctors — who have conveyed that CC will report as scheduled to Tampa in February to prepare for the 2019 season.”
It seems as if the procedure might even benefit Sabathia’s performances during the 2019 season. One source close to the pitcher told The Athletic that the difference the pitcher is experiencing physically is “night and day.”