NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez, recovering quickly from hip surgery, could return to the Yankee lineup as early as Friday in Baltimore. Yankee manager Joe Girardi said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility.
“If he bounces back Wednesday [after playing in an extended spring training game Tuesday], it’s up to him,” said Girardi. “It’s a possibility. I haven’t talked to him after today’s game. Is Friday the day? I can’t tell you.”
Rodriguez said last week in Tampa that the last thing he wants to do before leaving his rehab assignment is to slide in a game. Today, he went 1 for 6 with a home run and walk in seven innings. He played third base and ran the bases, but did not slide.
“I don’t know that we necessarily need to see him slide on dirt. You’d like to see it, but I’m not going to force it,” said Girardi, who said A-Rod has been sliding on a mat.
Girardi also said he doesn’t need Rodriguez to play more than seven innings while on rehab. Girardi reasoned that in spring training he never asks players to play a full game and feels that this is Rodriguez’s spring training.
“If he plays seven and doesn’t have a problem, he’s well on his way,” Girardi says.
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