Andy Pettitte used human growth hormone to recover from an elbow injury in 2002, the New York Yankees pitcher admitted two days after he was cited in the Mitchell Report.

Pettitte said he tried HGH on two occasions, stressing he did it to heal faster and not enhance his performance. He emphasized he never used steroids.

"If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize," Pettitte said Saturday in a statement released by his agent. "I accept responsibility for those two days."

On Thursday, Pettitte was among 85 players named by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's investigation into steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. Pettitte had not commented publicly on the allegations.

Pettitte asked the trainer he shared with Roger Clemens, Brian McNamee, to help him with HGH while on the disabled list early in the 2002 season, the report said. McNamee recalled injecting Pettitte two to four times, Mitchell said.

HGH wasn't banned by baseball until January 2005.

"In 2002 I was injured. I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow," Pettitte said in the statement released to The Associated Press by agent Randy Hendricks.

"I felt an obligation to get back to my team as soon as possible. For this reason, and only this reason, for two days I tried human growth hormone. Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped.

"This is it — two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list," he said. "I wasn't looking for an edge. I was looking to heal."

Pettitte was not linked to steroids in the report, and he said he never had never used them.

"I have the utmost respect for baseball and have always tried to live my life in a way that would be honorable," he said. "If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication.

"I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true," he said.

EDMONDS BACK IN CALIFORNIA: Jim Edmonds is returning to Southern California after eight seasons in the Midwest, eager to prove he's healthy and still an everyday player.

He'll get that chance starting March 31 when he takes his position in Petco Park's spacious center field.

The San Diego Padres obtained the 37-year-old Edmonds and $2 million on Saturday from the Cardinals in exchange for minor league third baseman David Freese, who grew up in a St. Louis suburb.

"I'm kind of shocked but excited because I get to be in Southern California next to my family and play for a contending team in a beautiful ballpark," Edmonds said.

Figure skating

FALL DOESN'T COST CHAMPION: South Korea's Kim Yu-na successfully defended her Grand Prix Final women's figure skating title Saturday in Torino, Italy, keeping her nerves after a fall — something most of her competitors did not manage.

Two-time world champion Stephane Lambiel won the men's title, adjusting his fiery Flamenco program after a pair of faulty jumps to edge Japan's Daisuke Takahashi.

Among the women, only silver medalist Mao Asada of Japan and bronze winner Carolina Kostner of Italy skated without falls, both capturing season-best scores.

Rising American Caroline Zhang, who was a surprise second coming into the final free skate, fell on a triple lutz and finished fourth in her first major international competition, while U.S. champion Kimmie Meissner fell three times and ended up last in sixth place.

Auto racing

POINTS MOVE APPROVED: NASCAR has approved Penske Racing's request to transfer the owner points from Kurt Busch to Sam Hornish Jr., a move that locks the three-time IndyCar Series champion into the first five races of next season.

Hornish publicly thanked Busch for giving him the points at the Penske holiday party on Friday night. Bud Denker, senior vice president of Penske Corp., confirmed Saturday that the team would swap the points with NASCAR's approval.

Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the sanctioning body had signed off on the transfer.