The Yankees said Cervelli needs surgery and will miss a minimum of six weeks. Nova left his outing against the Blue Jays after allowing a single to the second batter of the third inning. He will have an MRI later Friday.
After allowing a ground single up the middle to Rajai Davis, trainer Steve Donohue and manager Joe Girardi immediately ran out to the mound, and Nova walked off without hesitation.
Nova gave up two runs and four hits in two-plus innings.
Cervelli was holding his throwing hand just above his knee when Davis fouled a pitch straight back. Cervelli immediately looked at his hand and flexed it several times. Girardi and a trainer checked out Cervelli before Girardi waved to the bullpen for backup catcher Chris Stewart.
The batterymates join a long list of Yankees on the disabled list. New York has been without All-Stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixiera since the beginning of the season.
Kevin Youkilis was not available for the sixth straight game because of lower back tightness, and he may be headed to the disabled list Saturday.
Cervelli spent nearly all of 2012 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but he got off to a solid start this year and earned most of the playing time over Stewart after the Yankees let Gold Glover Russell Martin leave to free agency last winter.
Cervelli was hitting .269 with three homers and eight RBIs entering Friday. And, a night earlier, Girardi complimented the job he did behind the plate to help Hiroki Kuroda work through a rocky beginning to his start.
There was no word on a replacement for Cervelli but, Triple-A catcher Austin Romine was lifted from his game after one at-bat.