Depleted Yankees lose another key player as James Paxton exits Friday's start with a knee injury

The New York Yankees, with 13 players already on the injured list, lost another key player to injury Friday night.

Left-hander James Paxton exited Friday's start (GameTracker) with a sore left knee after three laborious innings. He threw 64 pitches and will undergo tests on Saturday.

Paxton has a long injury history but he has never dealt with a knee problem. There's been a good amount of shoulder and arm trouble, but not knee trouble. This is a new one.

On one hand, it's not an arm injury, and that's always good news. On the other hand, knee trouble is not nothing either. It is Paxton's push-off knee, and if that is compromised, he could alter his mechanics (even subconsciously) and create other problems. The Yankees and Paxton will know more Saturday.

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The Yankees currently have 13 players on the injured list, and that's after Gary Sanchez (calf) and CC Sabathia (knee, heart) returned in recent weeks. Here is New York's walking wounded:

That list does not include infielder DJ LeMahieu, who has not played since Sunday after fouling a pitch into his knee. He is day-to-day. The Yankees are expected to activate Andujar on Saturday and Frazier early next week, so they are getting some players back, but still. That is a lot of key players on the injured list.

Should Paxton miss time the Yankees would likely turn to rookie righty Jonathan Loaisiga, who made two spot starts while Sabathia was on the injured list. Dallas Keuchel remains unsigned and, because they are the Yankees, we should never rule out a signing. It does seem unlikely though. They have not been connected to him at all the last few months.

Despite the injuries, the Yankees went into Friday's game with a 17-13 record and only a 2 1/2 game deficit in the AL East. They could've tumbled down the standings given all those injuries. Instead, they've been able to stay afloat. Losing Paxton could be a real back-breaker though, especially with Severino out as well.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for,,,... Full Bio

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