Sabathia reportedly will avoid surgery, might return as reliever

CC Sabathia hopes to return in September, perhaps in a new role.

New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia will not need surgery on his ailing right knee, MLB.com reported Tuesday.

Sabathia was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday, at which time manager Joe Girardi admitted there was concern that Sabathia’s season might be over.

Now there is optimism that Sabathia will return, though perhaps in a relief role. All 447 of Sabathia’s career regular-season appearances have come as a starter, but he told MLB.com he is open to "helping the team any way I can."

In 24 starts this season, Sabathia is 4-9 with a 5.27 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.