NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Yankees pitcher Sabathia is planning to check himself into a alcohol rehabilitation center Monday.
Sabathia issued a statement just after 1 p.m. (see below) that said he's leaving at a bad time, but it's something he owed to himself and his family. The announcement comes a day before the Yankees play Houston in the American League wild-card game.
The statement also said he's looking forward to playing again next season, so it appears he's not returning for the postseason.
Sabathia was 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA this year, slowed by his surgically repaired right knee. After returning from the disabled list and using a tighter brace, the portly 35-year-old left-hander was 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in five starts and got the win against Boston that week that clinched the Yankees' return to the postseason following a rare two-year absence.
His move is another blow to the Yankees' pitching staff, slowed in September by Masahiro Tanaka's hamstring injury and ineffective outings by Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova.
Sabathia, who helped New York win the 2009 World Series during his first season in the Bronx, is signed through next season. His deal includes a 2017 club option that would become guaranteed if his left shoulder doesn't get hurt.
Here is the statement:
"Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease."I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player."I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind."As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don't want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family's need for privacy as we work through this challenge together."Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids - and others who may have become fans of mine over the years - to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that's exactly what I am going to do."I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness."
Stay with Eyewitness News for the latest on this developing story.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.