Behind Enemy Lines: A-Rod out of lineup, status uncertain for remainder of series

Alex Rodriguez is not in the lineup for the Yankees tonight because of a sprained left thumb. Manager Joe Girardi said Rodriguez had received a cortisone shot, leaving his status for the remainder of the series in question.

“Would I be surprised if he didn’t play this series? No,” Girardi said. “Am I hopeful that we’ll get him? Yes. Maybe tomorrow or even the next day. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t have him.”

Girardi said a cortisone shot usually took anywhere from one to two days to have an effect.

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“You never really know until he takes a swing,” Girardi said. “He never really complained about it when he wasn’t doing anything. It was when he would swing and it was the pressure that would push the thumb down.”

Girardi said it was not likely, with the rosters set to expand Sept. 1, the club would place Rodriguez on the disabled list.

“We want it to heal and we believe it will heal, but it’ll take a few days,” he said.

Shortstop Derek Jeter, who bruised his right kneecap after fouling a pitch off it in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday at Baltimore, is in the lineup.

Girardi sad the Yankees’ captain looked fine but the team would monitor him during batting practice.

Girardi on Phil Hughes (4-4, 6.46 ERA), who had a rough start in his last outing against the Oakland A’s after allowing six runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings and will start Wednesday’s game vs. Josh Beckett: “Remember last September he pitched a great game against the Red Sox? I think it’s important for him to bounce back after his last start and remain on track and throwing the ball well. It’s also very important for us.

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“When you’re going in the right direction, you don’t want to have a couple of setbacks,” Girardi said. “One setback is one thing. You want to keep going up. You know there’s going to be blips, but you want to get back on track.”

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