Yankees LHP CC Sabathia was just having a catch with teammate Dellin Betances when he began to feel shortness of breath. He knew something was up.
"For me," Sabathia told YES Network's Ryan Ruocco, "normally, I can run, swim, do whatever, elliptical for however long. My cardio's normally really good. So for me to have shortness of breath playing catch, I knew something was up."
The 38-year-old Sabathia would undergo an angioplasty to clear a blocked artery in December, a heart procedure he is expected to recover fully from.
"Obviously any time your health is being questioned is something you get nervous about," Sabathia said.
Sabathia said he felt sick for weeks leading up to the procedure, but once he had a stent inserted into the artery, said he felt better almost immediately. And now, Sabathia said he is feeling good.
"I'm ready to go," said Sabathia, who went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts with the Yankees last season.
Recounting the day he felt pain, Sabathia said he wasn't going to try to play it off.
"I knew something was just off," he said. "I just didn't feel right. And I'm not that person -- if I feel anything, I'm saying something. I just wanted to get right."
At the time, he didn't understand how significant a procedure he was undergoing. Avoiding the procedure would have put him at risk for a heart attack.
"Going through the process, I didn't really know what was happening, so I didn't get scared until after, and I was already fixed," he said. "I'm good. It was tough processing it for a couple of days after, but just the way I feel right now, I feel so much better, so I'm good."
Sabathia, who has said 2019 will be his last season in the majors, was complimentary of the Yankees bringing back fellow lefties J.A. Happ and Zach Britton as he hopes to end his career with a second World Series title.
"That'd be nice," Sabathia said. "That'd be awesome."