Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/18/12

Never has the return of a 40-year-old pitcher with nine major league appearances over two seasons been viewed with such fanfare and importance.

Andy Pettitte, whose comeback from 2011 retirement was postponed after nine starts when he was struck on the leg by a comebacker June 27 against Cleveland, will return to the New York Yankees' disjointed rotation Tuesday when he starts against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I'm looking forward to it, obviously. I don't know what to say other than I'm looking forward to going out there and pitching," Pettitte said Sunday ahead of the Yankees' scheduled day off Monday. "You want to be in the mix and want to be in this rotation and hopefully contribute and go out and throw quality starts and give this team a chance to win.

"That's what I came back for, and to have to sit here and to watch it for the last two months has been difficult because I came back because I wanted to pitch, I wanted to compete, and I haven't been able to do that. Just looking forward to getting back out there, that's for sure."

Having received a strong start from 2011 16-game winner Ivan Nova on Saturday in his first outing following a DL stint caused by a shoulder injury, the Yankees are hoping Pettitte will further bolster a starting staff they are leaning on to hold off upstart Baltimore for the AL East title. The Orioles trail the Yankees by a half-game after winning Monday night in Seattle.

"I know what I expect out of myself. I expect to be able to give us however many starts I've got before we hopefully get to the playoffs," Pettitte said. "I expect to give us good outings. If I don't, I'm going to be disappointed. ... I'm looking forward to it being a battle, and I feel like I'm ready for that physically and mentally."

Pettitte originally intended for his comeback from retirement to be a one-shot proposition, but the veteran lefty left open the possibility of pitching again in 2013 because of his shortened workload this summer.

"I could probably say that when I came back I thought there was no chance that I was coming back (in 2013); this is a one-year deal," Pettitte said. "But getting hurt and only having 60 innings right now and you were hoping to have a couple hundred innings under your belt, it definitely gives me the option to consider coming back again next year, that's for sure.

"I'm hoping to get a lot of work in still this year. We'll see what happens as this year continues on."

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The 'Hope your Cup runneth over this Memorial Day' quiz

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