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5 Reasons Andy Pettitte's Return Is Far More Important Than Alex Rodriguez's

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5 Reasons Andy Pettitte's Return Is Far More Important Than Alex Rodriguez's
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The New York Yankees got good news about Alex Rodriguez this week. According to Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger (and others), A-Rod could be back in the Yankees' lineup as soon as Monday.

The news on Andy Pettitte, however, continues to be less than encouraging. 

When Pettitte went down with a broken left fibula in late June, indications were that he'd be back sometime in September. Here we are on the eve of September, and now nobody has any clue when Pettitte will be back.

This includes Pettitte himself. His arm is fine, but he said this week that he has a long way to go before he's in pitching condition. Via The Journal News:

I'm hoping that whenever I'm able to get on the mound, whenever that process is, that I'll be able to build up that stamina. I have no idea. Like I've told y'all all along, I have no idea how my stamina is going to be. Not only in my arm, my legs. I feel like the arm's going to be good, (but) I've had eight weeks of really not doing a whole lot other than riding a bike and swimming in the swimming pool as far as trying to condition. That's a long ways away from driving off the mound downhill.

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, Pettitte was able to throw off a mound on Friday. Apparently, he felt good.

That's a good sign, but Pettitte is still far from being out of the woods. With the minor-league regular season coming to an end and the minor-league postseason coming to an end in a couple weeks, it's going to be difficult for Pettitte to get back into the swing of things before returning to the majors. Re-establishing himself in the majors will be an entirely different headache.

None of this is good for the Yankees. It's all well and good that they're getting A-Rod back pretty soon, but they'd no doubt rather have Pettitte back first.

Here's why.

Note: Stats come from Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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