NEW YORK -- Damaso Marte's left arm was in a sling Sunday as he gathered belongings from his Yankee Stadium locker, having undergone surgery that figures to keep him out of action until late next season.
Marte said that he underwent surgery Friday to repair a labrum tear in his left shoulder and that he has been told he can resume throwing after next year's All-Star break.
"I had to make it better, because it's a lot of pain," Marte said. "Right now I feel comfortable. The doctor, he gave me a good idea for my arm. He told me, you're getting better. Next year, I think I can pitch."
The 35-year-old lefty last appeared in a game on July 7, finishing his season with a 4.08 ERA in 17 2/3 innings (30 games) and didn't receive a decision. He had held off on surgery in hopes that rest and rehab would allow him to return to the Bombers for a postseason run, but to no avail.
Marte said he considered the surgery encouraging, acknowledging that thoughts of retirement passed through his mind as months went by without improvement.
"It's hard when you feel something inside and sometimes they don't find out what's the problem," Marte said. "Right now, we know what we have and the labrum is very [torn]. But now they've fixed it, and I feel happy because I know I can pitch maybe next year."
Acquired by the Yankees via midseason trade from the Pirates in 2008, Marte re-signed with New York after that year, inking a three-year, $12 million deal, which expires after 2011. The pact also includes a $4 million club option for 2012.
Marte said the operation was performed in Cincinnati by Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.