A-Rod will try to play through hip injury
Alex Rodriguez will attempt to play this season with an injured right hip, hoping to avoid surgery and a four-month rehabilitation period.
A cyst in the hip was drained Wednesday, and the New York Yankees third baseman will skip playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Still, he has a torn labrum that might need an operation.
"There's two courses of action concerning what he has," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said yesterday. "There is treat it conservatively, which would imply rest, exercise, and treatment. Or you can treat it aggressively, which is by surgery. At this point in time, we are going to go the conservative route."
The diagnosis by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo., was yet another jolt to Rodriguez during a tumult-filled one-month span in which the three-time American League MVP admitted using banned drugs from 2001-03 while with Texas.
Earlier yesterday, ESPNdeportes.com reported that Rodriguez's brother, Joe Dunand, said the slugger was going to have surgery, with a projected 10-week recovery time.
"If at some point it's not working and it's a problem, then the other one becomes more of a choice," Cashman said. "Right now the route we're going is conservative."
Cashman said Rodriguez's preference was to try rest and treatment first, but that offseason surgery might be an option.
"We're collectively trying to figure out what is best to do for everybody involved," Cashman said. "We don't want to rush into it. We want to digest it."
Cashman said the team hopes the cyst was the cause of stiffness that had bothered the 12-time All-Star and caused him to see Philippon. Rodriguez was to undergo additional tests in Colorado today.
"Now that it's drained, we're going to see how he responds," Cashman said. "Get a gauge of how much improvement, if at all, there is."
Dr. Struan Coleman of the Hospital for Special Surgery, which treats the New York Mets, said Rodriguez probably could avoid an operation by having heat and cold treatment, but might need an injection to control pain and/or inflammation. Coleman said it is unlikely the injury is related to past steroid use.
"It's quite common in athletes who do a lot of rotational movement in their sport," Coleman said. "This is a slowly progressive process. This has been going on a number of years."
Dominican Republic general manager Stan Javier spoke with Rodriguez yesterday.
"The only concern I have right now is I hope he's OK," Javier said. "It's too bad it has happened, but that's baseball and that's life. He told me he might have surgery Sunday or Monday. He said he's going to meet us in Miami to be with the team."
David Ortiz said Rodriguez's on-field presence will be missed by the Dominican players.
"It's a guy we need," the Red Sox DH said. "He's not going to be able to be here. It's crazy. I hope he gets better and comes back in the regular season to do his thing."