[This story has been updated.]
In the week of December 10, the Yankees' CC Sabathia Yankee was scheduled to accompany Red Sox's Jackie Bradley on a trip to London, England, to promote a series between the two AL East rivals scheduled for London in June of 2019.
But shortly before his planned departure, Sabathia began to experience symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, and noted that he began to sweat faster than usual while riding a stationary bicycle.
Sabathia, 38, decided to check out. However, even after having undergone a stress test, he could not imagine the news he was about to receive.
He had a blockage in one of the arteries he carried from the heart, and within a few days required a procedure in which the doctors inserted a stent to open the artery.
The procedure, known as angioplasty, is not uncommon – more than half a million Americans go through one every year, according to a New York Times article from 2013.
Sabathia met with doctors on Friday and found her prognosis is excellent, both short-term and long-term. He should report to spring training as scheduled with Yankees pitchers and catchers in mid-February.
The result could have been different had Sabathia ignored her symptoms.
He would have risked a heart attack.
"CC was experiencing some chest pain that turned out to be a blockage in an artery of his heart," said Sabathia's agent, Kyle Thousand of Roc Nation Sports, in a statement to The Athletic.
"A procedure was done to insert a stent to clear the blockade on December 11. The CC is doing very well and will report to spring training in time to prepare for the next season in 2019."
Sabathia, who signed a one-year contract and $ 8 million to return to the Yankees on Nov. 7, declined to comment.
Brian Cashman, general manager of the Yankees, released a statement following the publication of this report:
"We are grateful that CC was smart enough to relay his symptoms to our medical staff and in turn, they immediately hired New York Presbyterian Hospital, which quickly determined the root cause of what afflicted him. We are also encouraged that the procedure to which the CC was submitted was carried out as planned. He is such a dynamic person, beyond his excellence in the field, and we will continue with his health at the forefront of our priorities. We will continue to follow the guidance and experience of the doctors – who have indicated that the CC will report as scheduled to Tampa in February to prepare for the 2019 season. "
The procedure forced Sabathia to curb his normal recreational training for a month, but he has resumed limited activity, including lifting lightweights. He will undergo a stress test on January 8, and if all goes well, he will develop normally for spring training.
The insertion of the stents to benefit Sabathia in his cardiovascular work, and a person close to him said that the difference that the pitcher is experiencing physically is "night and day."
The 2019 season will be the 19th of the Sabathia in the majors. He made 29 starts for the Yankees last season, ending with a 3.65 ERA – the lowest since 2012 – in 153 innings.
(Photo by Sabathia: Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports)