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Yanks fear McDowell might not be available to pitch in postseason AMERICAN LEAGUE


MILWAUKEE -- New York Yankees right-hander Jack McDowell was supposed to throw a baseball for the first time in six days yesterday to test a strained muscle in his back that has bothered him for almost a month. Instead, McDowell underwent a bone scan to determine whether he had a stress fracture and if that was stagnating any potential progress.

Although the results showed that McDowell did not have a stress fracture, the Yankees are concerned about whether the he will be able to pitch if they reach the postseason.

Manager Buck Showalter has strongly intimated that McDowell will not pitch in one of the last three regular-season games and he is hoping the pitcher will be ready for Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs on Oct. 6.

Dr. Stuart Hershon, the Yankees' team physician, said McDowell's muscle strain is a partial tear in which the muscle "can pull off the rib and cause inflammation."

McDowell is 15-10 with a 3.93 ERA and is second in the AL with 217 1/3 innings pitched. He has won seven of his past nine decisions.

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