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Posted: Monday July 16, 2012 3:20PM ; Updated: Monday July 16, 2012 9:52PM

Sabathia eager to pitch after first career trip to DL

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NEW YORK (AP) -- CC Sabathia found the whole experience of his first trip to the disabled list with the New York Yankees a little "embarrassing," and he is looking forward to making his first start in more than two weeks.

Brett Gardner might have to wait even longer to return from an elbow injury.

Sabathia will make his first start since June 24 on Tuesday night against Toronto. Out with a groin strain, he says he's feeling well enough to pitch as long as he needs to and thinks the time off might have been more beneficial to his left arm than the groin.

"I'm going to throw until they tell me to stop," Sabathia said.

Manager Joe Girardi said Monday he will monitor Sabathia closely because he is concerned with how his ace bounces back after the outing.

Girardi will be watching Alex Rodriguez, too. A-Rod was moved from third base to the designated hitter in Monday's lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays after he experienced neck stiffness during batting practice. Eric Chavez was switched from DH to third base.

Gardner was sore a day after he had four at-bats in a three-inning simulated game and was being kept off the field Monday. The speedy outfielder has already had two setbacks in his recovery from a strained elbow that has sidelined him since April 18.

"It is puzzling," Girardi said. "Our hope is still that he will get through this."

Sabathia has been durable since signing a free-agent deal with the Yankees in the winter of 2008, pitching at least 230 innings in each of his seasons with New York. He hadn't been on the DL since 2006, when he was with Cleveland.

He is 9-3 with a 3.45 ERA and earned his sixth All-Star selection this year. Even though the Yankees went 11-6 without their ace and extended their lead in the AL East, Sabathia still was not happy to miss time.

"You feel like you're not contributing and helping the team," Sabathia said. "For me it's a little embarrassing."

Also, Joba Chamberlain, out all season with an ankle injury, is scheduled to pitch an inning in the minors Wednesday. Chamberlain has not pitched since June 5, 2011, when he tore a ligament in his elbow.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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