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Yankees’ Andy Pettitte out 6 weeks with broken ankle

Fans watch as New York Yankees left fielder Dewayne Wise catches seventh-inning flyout left field hit by ClevelIndians' Jack Hannahan

Fans watch as New York Yankees left fielder Dewayne Wise catches a seventh-inning flyout to left field hit by Cleveland Indians' Jack Hannahan during their baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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NEW YORK — New York Yankees starter Andy Pettitte broke his left ankle and is expected to miss at least six weeks after he was hit by a line drive during Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians.

The Yankees say they expect the break to heal without surgery. The injury came on the same day the Yankees placed left-hander CC Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin.

Casey Kotchman’s low line drive hit Pettitte near his left ankle, the one the left-hander pushes off with. Pettitte took a step after the ball near the third base line before gently dropping to the infield grass.

Pettitte tried to stay in the game, but manager Joe Girardi removed him when he came up limping after throwing one live pitch.

Pettitte (3-3) retired after the 2010 postseason but returned to the Yankees this spring to shore up New York’s pitching rotation, which had already lost Michael Pineda at the time to shoulder surgery.

Pettitte, who has a 243-141 career record, is in his 14th season with New York. He also spent three years with Houston. On both clubs, he was a teammate of Roger Clemens, and he testified at Clemens’ recent perjury trial.

With Pettitte out, Derek Jeter is now the only Yankee on the field from the club’s Core Four. Mariano Rivera is out with a season-ending knee injury and Jorge Posada retired.

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