Yankees' Tanaka has small elbow ligament tear

Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:33pm EDT

Jul 8, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Jul 8, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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(Reuters) - New York Yankees' starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow and could be out of the game for about six weeks, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Thursday.

Tanaka visited three doctors with each confirming a small ligament tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, but the right-hander has opted for non-surgical rehab hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery, which could mean a year out of the game.

The 25-year-old Japanese pitcher, who was named for next week's All-Star game, leads the American League with 12 wins and has a 2.51 ERA, the fourth best in the AL.

(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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