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Alex Rodriguez will be out six-to-nine weeks because of hip surgery

The New York Yankees slugger will need a second operation on the hip after the season.

March 09, 2009|Associated Press

Alex Rodriguez's spring training saga took another unexpected turn: He's headed for hip surgery today that will sideline him for six to nine weeks -- and that's not all.

The New York Yankees slugger will need a second operation after the season, assuming he can play all the way through. Dr. Marc Philippon, who will perform the initial procedure in Colorado, said he's confident Rodriguez will be able to do that once he recovers.

"Well, it's better than him missing the whole year," Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. "It could have been a lot worse."

The decision Sunday came after Rodriguez and the Yankees spent the week mulling treatment options for his torn labrum, and it was yet another jolt to the three-time most valuable player during a tumultuous month in which he admitted using steroids from 2001 to 2003 with Texas.

The arthroscopic procedure that was chosen gives Rodriguez a chance to return early this season -- General Manager Brian Cashman said he expects him back "sometime in May." But it also means he'll need another, more extensive operation in the fall.

Philippon said Rodriguez ultimately decided (with the team's support) to put off that surgery, which would have kept him out until at least July because it could require three to four months of rehabilitation.

Still, his injury not only leaves the Yankees with a huge hole at third base and in the middle of their lineup, it causes major concerns about the health of a player in the second year of a record $275-million, 10-year contract.

The Yankees have an insurance policy that will reimburse some of Rodriguez's $32-million salary this year, a baseball official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team doesn't discuss insurance publicly. Typically, insurance on baseball contracts pays back a team a specified percentage of the salary of a player on the disabled list, after a period of days for a deductible.

Gagne is released

The Milwaukee Brewers released reliever Eric Gagne so he can rehab his sore shoulder in Tempe, Ariz., at a private facility.

Gagne was in the Brewers' camp as a nonroster invitee. He had not pitched in a game in spring training before developing shoulder soreness. An MRI exam detected damage to the rotator cuff and labrum.

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