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Sports

December 4, 2012

A-Rod needs hip surgery, will miss season's start

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Alex Rodriguez will start the season in what’s become a familiar place: the disabled list.

The New York Yankees said Monday the third baseman will have surgery on his left hip, an injury that could sideline him until the All-Star break and may explain his spectacularly poor performance during the playoffs.

“It’s a significant blow,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “But we’ve dealt with significant blows and, hopefully, we’ll be able to deal with this one, as well.”

A 14-time All-Star and baseball’s priciest player at $275 million, Rodriguez has a torn labrum, bone impingement and a cyst. He will need four to six weeks of physical therapy to strengthen the hip before surgery, and the team anticipates he will be sidelined four to six months after the operation.

This will be Rodriguez’s sixth trip to the disabled list in six seasons. A-Rod had right hip surgery on March 9, 2009, and returned that May 8.

“It is a more complicated surgery with a longer recovery time because there is a little bit more that needs to be done,” Cashman said, citing the bone impingement. “I don’t think it’s age related. Butt at the same time, the older you are, the slower you’re going to recover regardless. But the bottom line and the message I’ve been receiving is that this is a solvable issue.”

Rodriguez, who turns 38 in July, complained to manager Joe Girardi of a problem with his right hip the night Raul Ibanez pinch hit for him — and hit a tying ninth-inning home run — against Baltimore during Game 3 of the AL division series in October. He went to New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s emergency room and was checked out then.

“Up to this point, there was no complaints of any nature at all from his hip, or anything really,” Cashman said. “At that point Joe went to Alex in the dugout and said, ‘I’m going to pinch hit for you and we’re going to pinch hit Ibanez,’ and Alex said to Joe at that moment, ‘OK,’ he said, ‘I’ve got to talk to you about something. I think my right hip needs to be looked at. I just don’t feel like I’m firing on all cylinders.’”

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