A-Rod Hopes for Productive Season Upon Return from Surgery
Now that his mystery ailment had been identified and will be corrected, third baseman Alex Rodriguez is confident to have a productive season for the New York Yankees when he returns at some point next year.
"It was a crushing blow when we got to Vail, Colo., and I talked to my doctors," Rodriguez said. "It was obviously a big blow, but there is a very small part of me that is relieved that there is a tangible issue and we can adjust and get back to playing really good baseball."
Doctors discovered that Rodriguez had a tear in his left hip that hounded him in the latter part of the season and in the playoffs. It was recommended that surgery be performed in mid-January.
"We are preparing for an operation that will happen in mid-January," Rodriguez said. "Then it gets tough, because that is when we need to try to climb the mountain again and do something special again like the last time."
Rodriguez had surgery on his right hip in 2009, but the 14-time All-Star had an excellent season, hitting 30 home runs and driving in 100 runs while helping the Yankees win the World Series.
"We've seen this movie before and hopefully it has the same ending as '09," Rodriguez said. "When I went down, a lot of people counted us out. We had a pretty tough April, but sometime around May the magic started and it just got better and better."
The 37-year-old is unsure about the exact date of his surgery or when he will be able to return to action. But Rodriguez is confident that he will play at some point during the upcoming season.
"I think I am definitely going to play," Rodriguez said. "We've been down this road before. We have a good plan and a good team in place. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
The surgery that Rodriguez will undergo needs four to six months of recovery period. Barring any setback, Rodriguez should be ready to rejoin the Yankees around mid-season and he expects to be productive upon his return.
"I think the latest sample and the most legitimate is how I played the first four months before tearing my hip and breaking my hand," Rodriguez said of how he expects to play going forward. "I think my pace was solid and definitely a winning player. After that, especially after my hand, I thought my numbers went south very quickly."
The Yankees are courting former Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis to man third base in Rodriguez's absence.
"Youk has always been a tough out," Rodriguez said. "He's a tough player, a guy that's a winning player. Whatever the franchise wants to do, I think that will be a good move for us."
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