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06/11/11 1:10 AM ET

Joba to undergo reconstructive elbow surgery

NEW YORK -- Joba Chamberlain had almost forgotten there was an issue with his pitching elbow when he woke up Friday morning, at least until the flurry of text messages on his phone reminded him.

He will have plenty of time to pound out responses. Chamberlain has been scheduled for Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow, which will end his season and is likely to cost him at least the beginning of 2012.

"It's easy to deal with," Chamberlain said. "I know I've got to get better. It's not life or death. I'm just happy that I can fix it and come back and be stronger for it. Hopefully, I'll have a long career."

The Yankees said that Chamberlain will leave the team on Wednesday and is set to have the procedure performed on Thursday by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. The expected recovery time is 10 to 14 months.

"Generally, you see these guys and it's around a year when you have Tommy John," manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm not sure when we'll get him back, but we'll get him back as soon as we can."

Chamberlain was diagnosed with a complete tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow on Thursday, and he underwent a dye contrast MRI exam later in the day that confirmed the Tommy John recommendation.

"This is a surgery that a lot of people have," Chamberlain said. "People understand that you can come back from this. Surgery is just one-third of this; the rehab is two-thirds of what's going on. That's the most important part.

"And obviously the guy doing it has done it a few times, so I'm pretty confident that he'll do a good job. The rest lies on me and making sure that I get back to what I can be and stronger."

Chamberlain said that he feels no pain, with the only physical indication of the injury coming on Tuesday, when he felt tightness near his right forearm and mentioned the issue to the Yankees' training staff.

Chamberlain said that he has spoken with several people in the Yankees' clubhouse who have gone through the rehabilitation process, including pitchers A.J. Burnett and Lance Pendleton, as well as coaching assistant Brett Weber.

"It's long -- that's about it," Chamberlain said. "Everybody's different. Some people's pain threshold is better, some are worse, some people take longer and some take shorter. You just have surgery and make sure it goes well."

Chamberlain is the third Yankees reliever this year to be sent to Andrews, but he will be the first to actually undergo surgery. Rafael Soriano and Pedro Feliciano have also paid visits to Andrews' Pensacola, Fla., office, but thus far, only rehab has been recommended for those pitchers.

Jeter nine from 3,000 after latest hit

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter took another step toward baseball immortality in the seventh inning of Friday's 11-7 Yankees win over the Indians by notching his 2,991st career hit.

With the Yankees holding a 7-2 lead, Jeter doubled to right field off reliever Chad Durbin with one on and one out, moving Francisco Cervelli to third. It was Jeter's fifth hit across the first four games of this 10-game homestead, and it came five innings after he was robbed of a single by Jack Hannahan, who made a diving stop at third on a Jeter grounder.

With six games remaining on the homestead following Friday's game, Jeter needs nine hits to become the 28th player in Major League history to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.

With Martin out, Jorge would catch if needed

NEW YORK -- Yankees catcher Russell Martin was out of the starting lineup for a third straight game on Friday against the Indians due to back stiffness, though the team does not believe a roster move is necessary at this time.

Francisco Cervelli again got the nod behind the plate as the Yankees opened a four-game series. Martin said that he has felt some improvement and hopes to be ready to catch on Sunday.

"I'm probably going to hit and swing [Saturday], and there's a good chance I'll be ready to play Sunday," Martin said. "That's what we're hoping for. I'll have to see what happens when I hit and throw [Saturday], but right now, with the progress I'm having, I don't think it should be a problem to catch."

Martin said that he is still feeling slight discomfort but added, "Compared to the first couple days, it's night and day."

Girardi said that having Jorge Posada on the roster as an emergency catcher has provided him with some comfort, reducing the urgency of getting another catcher to New York.

"I still think we're OK for a while, just because we do have Jorge in case of emergency," Girardi said. "It'd be different if we didn't have Jorge."

Then again, Posada has not caught since last season, told by the team to concentrate only on his duties as the designated hitter.

Posada, 39, did not catch at all in Spring Training, and Girardi mentioned then that the effects of repeated concussions were a concern. Girardi said that Posada has not done so much as squat for a bullpen session recently.

"If we're using him, it'll be in an emergency situation," Girardi said. "My hope is, he hasn't forgotten."

Posada said after an extra-inning game in Baltimore last month that he would have been ready to come in to catch, had there been a reason to.

Girardi said that he hopes to have Martin starting behind the plate on Saturday or Sunday, and that Martin's issues have not given him any pause in reconsidering how the team views Posada.

"None whatsoever," Girardi said. "Our plans were to have Russell Martin be our catcher. When a guy goes down for a couple of days, you don't throw your whole plan out the window. Russell has caught a lot of ballgames for us and been very good back there."

Yanks promote Whelan for bullpen depth

NEW YORK -- The Yankees added right-hander Kevin Whelan to their bullpen for Friday's game against the Indians, optioning outfielder Chris Dickerson to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The 27-year-old Whelan was in line to make his Major League debut heading into Friday's series opener. He was 1-1 with a 1.67 ERA in 25 appearances at Triple-A this season, leading the International League with 18 saves.

His big league debut was marked by wildness: Pitching with a nine-run lead in the eighth inning of New York's eventual 11-7 victory over the Indians, Whelan walked four and recorded just two outs before being relieved, having issued a bases-loaded walk to rookie Cord Phelps.

"I said, 'We've all been through that first moment, the first time that we're on a big league field,'" manager Joe Girardi said. "There are a lot of nerves there, and you're never sure how you're going to react. The sun comes up the next day. We're not going to judge [him] too quickly on a first appearance."

In the Minors, Whelan had not allowed a run over his last seven outings, dating back to May 23. He was signed to a big league contract on Friday, with New York transferring right-hander Joba Chamberlain to the 60-day disabled list.

Whelan was acquired by the Yankees from the Tigers in November 2006 as part of a three-player package for outfielder Gary Sheffield.

Dickerson, 29, hit .357 (5-for-14) with three RBIs after being called up from Triple-A on May 17.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bryanhoch. Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.