General manager Brian Cashman said that Sabathia may need to be on a modified program this spring coming off the procedure, which was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.
"I would think so," Cashman said. "I have no doubt that he'll be ready by Opening Day, but his Spring Training might be adjusted. The regular season going forward won't be."
Sabathia went on the disabled list in August with inflammation in the elbow, and an MRI performed after the Yankees' loss in the American League Championship Series revealed the bone spur, which the club believes the 32-year-old has pitched with since before he signed with New York in December 2008.
"He hadn't given us any complaints on the elbow, but we were going to have it checked either way," Cashman said. "Then he revealed that it had been bothering him, so I knew surgery was a possibility."
Sabathia went 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA in 28 starts and posted a 1.53 ERA in two AL Division Series wins over the Orioles before a rough outing against the Tigers in the final game of the ALCS.
"He'll be obviously one of our five guys [in 2013]," Cashman said. "We've just got to come up with as many quality guys to pitch with him as possible."