The operation is scheduled for next Tuesday by Dr. James Andrews.
''I think it's the right decision,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Thursday night's game against the Boston Red Sox. ''I haven't really seen anyone rehab a partially torn ligament and have success. And it seems what it does is (it) just delays the inevitable that's going to happen and instead of maybe missing a year and a little bit of time, you miss a couple of years.''
Nova left last Saturday's 16-1 loss at Tampa Bay in the fifth inning after allowing eight runs and eight hits, including four homers. An MRI revealed the injury and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He was transferred Thursday to the 60-day DL.
''Obviously it's difficult to go through the operation and rehab,'' Girardi said, ''but a lot of times you come back stronger.''
In four games this year, Nova was 2-2 with an 8.27 ERA. Now in his fifth major league season, all with the Yankees, he is 40-22 with a 4.20 ERA.
In other moves Thursday, the Yankees promoted right-hand pitchers Bruce Billings and Shane Greene from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned infielder Dean Anna and right-hand pitcher Preston Claiborne to the Triple-A team.