A MRI taken after the Yankees' American League Championship Series loss to the Tigers reportedly showed a bone spur in Sabathia's left elbow, something the club believes he had pitched through since signing with the Yankees in Dec. 2008.
Sabathia had two stints on the disabled list this season, including two weeks for what the Yankees called left elbow inflammation, which represented the first arm-related DL assignment of Sabathia's career.
"You have to be concerned, because like I've said, I've never had any problems with the elbow before," Sabathia said outside Yankee Stadium on Saturday, according to the New York Daily News. "We have to wait and see. ... It's something that I've not felt before, never had, so it's best to go get it checked out and go from there."
Sabathia turned in two excellent outings in the AL Division Series, including a complete game in New York's Game 5 clincher over the Orioles, before he was rocked for six runs (five earned) in 3 1/3 innings by the Tigers in the Yankees' season-ending loss in ALCS Game 4.
"We're going to look at that elbow, no doubt about it -- whether [Sabathia] wants to or not," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "But he is no way going to bring up that elbow to us or to you or to anyone else if that thing bothered him. That's just because of who he is as a pro."
Sabathia, 32, posted a 15-6 record and 3.38 ERA in 28 starts this season. The 28 outings matched his lowest total during his 12-year career.
The six-time All-Star has tossed at least 200 innings in each of the past six seasons.
"I don't think [the elbow] affected the way I was out on the field. When I was out there, I was feeling good," Sabathia told the Daily News. "Definitely, any time you end the season like that, it makes it tough. It will sting for a while. But I will be able to go home, hang out with the family and watch some football and get ready for Spring Training."
Sabathia is signed through the 2016 campaign, with a vesting option of $25 million for '17 should he meet a series of injury-related criteria.
In addition to Sabathia, Cashman said the Yankees have several other injury concerns to check on. Shortstop Derek Jeter underwent surgery on his fractured left ankle on Saturday and will be closely monitored, and the club will also keep an eye on right-hander Joba Chamberlain to make sure he has no complaints after dislocating his right ankle this spring.
"Routine stuff," Cashman said, "and one of the routine things is we have to look at [Sabathia's] elbow one more time."