ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Ivan Nova used the word "devastated," and he looked the part.
The 27-year-old righthander was removed from Saturday night's game against the Rays with discomfort in his right elbow, and an MRI taken later that night showed a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow, all but ending his season.
"It's hard," a somber Nova said in the Yankees' clubhouse Sunday morning. "I don't even know what to tell you guys. I'm so sad right now that I'm not going to be pitching. It hurts. But God is real big and He's not going to forget me. So I have to keep working hard and try to get back as soon as possible."
Nova was officially placed on the disabled list Sunday morning and will be further examined Monday in New York by the Yankees team physician, Dr. Chris Ahmad.
Nova said he felt a "pop" on his second pitch to Evan Longoria in the fifth inning of Saturday night's 16-1 loss. Bench coach Tony Pena saw the righthander shake his arm after the pitch and alerted Joe Girardi, who soon removed Nova from the game.
Nova said he had not been told what will be next for him beyond Monday's evaluation in New York but season-ending surgery seems all but likely.
"Having a bad start makes me feel terrible because I want to pitch good," said Nova, who fell to 2-2 with a 8.27 ERA after allowing eight runs and eight hits in four-plus innings Saturday. "But having an injury like the one I have right now, that is devastating. Not because of me but because of my family and friends. It hurts. A lot of people feel bad because of this, but I have to keep going, I have to keep moving forward."
In addition to placing Nova on the DL, the Yankees reinstated first baseman Mark Teixeira, who had been on the DL with a strained right adductor muscle. Righty reliever Preston Claiborne was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and righthander Bryan Mitchell was elevated from Double-A Trenton. Infielder Scott Sizemore was optioned back to Triple-A and righthander Matt Daley, a graduate of Garden City High School, who allowed four earned runs in Saturday's loss, was designated for assignment.