Andy Pettitte's wife knew — maybe even before he did — the left-hander needed to be back in a Yankees uniform.

Before Game 2 of last year's American League Division Series between the Yankees and Tigers, Pettitte — who retired following the 2010 season — threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium.

"You need to be out there," Laura Pettitte told her husband when he had finished that ceremonial task.

Pettitte un-retired this year and is back with the Yankees in the postseason. Because he fractured his fibula when hit by a line drive on his left shin, Pettitte has made only three starts since June 27 and has logged a miniscule total of 16 ²/3 innings during that span. He has yet to go past six innings or 94 pitches in any of those turns, and has faced the Twins, who finished 66-96, once and the Blue Jays (73-89) twice.

His upcoming start against the Orioles in the ALDS — either Game 2 on Monday or Game 3 on Wednesday — involves many questions:

What can Pettitte deliver against a playoff lineup? How stable is his health and his stamina? And, with retirement once again a possibility, could this be the last start of Pettitte's career?

The 40-year-old is unsure whether he'll pitch in 2013.

"I really don't [know]," Pettitte said Friday. "Now that I've been through this so much, I can't even weigh my feelings until I get home and really start thinking about stuff."