The gray hairs congregate around his temples.

They pepper Andy Pettitte’s close-cropped black hair.

The ravages of time are settling in, and their reminders surround him daily.

His declining velocity. His aging body. Longtime teammate Mariano Rivera’s much-celebrated final lap around the majors.

And as Pettitte stood in front of his locker Sunday morning, with the Yankees Old-Timers’ Day ceremony unfolding just outside, he acknowledged this season could be his final trek through baseball.

"I know how precious they are," the left-hander said of his remaining starts this season. "I think that’s why I take them so hard. I take every one of them like this could be my last.

"Not only because I could be done this year. But physically, you don’t know what’s going to happen."

The Yankees (41-34) begin a 20-game stretch tonight that will take them to the All-Star break, a span that manager Joe Girardi called "extremely important."

And they still heavily rely on Pettitte (5-5 record this season, 4.20 ERA; 0-2 record, 5.93 ERA in his past two starts) who pitches Wednesday against the Texas Rangers.

He wouldn’t want it any other way.