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Yankees' Tanaka has small elbow ligament tear

(Reuters) - New York Yankees' starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow and could be out of the game for about six weeks, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Thursday.

Tanaka visited three doctors with each confirming a small ligament tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, but the right-hander has opted for non-surgical rehab hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery, which could mean a year out of the game.

The 25-year-old Japanese pitcher, who was named for next week's All-Star game, leads the American League with 12 wins and has a 2.51 ERA, the fourth best in the AL.

(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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