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A-Rod Has Torn Labrum in Right Hip

Update: According to Peter Abraham of the The Journal News, Alex Rodriguez actually has a torn labrum in his right hip. As a result, any surgery to correct the condition would require a four-month rehab, something the Yankees aren't willing to do without giving rest and rehab a try first.

As a result, Rodriguez will play sparingly, at best, for the rest of spring training. Then, once the season starts he'll try to play through the pain, something he's been able to do fine so far. Remember, Manager Joe Girardi said he complained of discomfort in his hip last year, too.

The risk, of course, is that every time Rodriguez makes a ball that puts his hip at risk of contact with the ground -- sliding into second, diving for a ball at third -- he's running the risk of significant damage that could end his season. And while his cyst was drained, there's no reason to believe that it won't fill back up again, causing the same discomfort that led to this most recent discovery.

If you're looking for a precedent, this is almost exactly the situation that Mike Lowell, the third baseman for Rodriguez's team's biggest rival, the Red Sox, went through last year. Lowell played throughout the 2008 season with a hip injury. Lowell's condition was first diagnosed in June, though it probably began much earlier. By the end of the season, Lowell was off the playoff roster, and he's still recovering from the offseason surgery he underwent to correct the condition. Lowell is planning to be ready for Opening Day, but there's no guarantees.

So, will A-Rod's condition be any different? What do people think? Or should Rodriguez just shut up shop and have the surgery now, in the hopes of returning in mid-July?

Here's the original A-Rod injury post, in case you haven't seen it already:

According to reports from's Enrique Rojas, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, fresh off his pre-spring training admissions of prior steroid use, will now miss the start of the major league season because of hip surgery.

Rodriguez's surgery, a procedure to remove a cyst from his right hip, will take place on Monday and ensures that Rodriguez will miss the entire World Baseball Classic -- in which Rodriguez planned to play the Dominican Republic's team -- and will have to wait a significant period of time, until May at least, to begin his comeback.

The story leaked via Rodriguez's brother, Joe, who said his brother was devastated by the news of needed surgery.

"It's a big blow for the whole family. Alex is destroyed," Rodriguez's brother told "We were all very excited to see him play with the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. But the most important thing is to have a successful surgery so that Alex may continue his career."

The condition also raises two immediate questions: 1) How did the cyst originate and 2) How will the Yankees fill Rodriguez's void at third base?

As for the first, it may be hard to tie to cyst to any drug use, and indeed, there's no reason to believe the condition was a direct result of Rodriguez's prior steroid use. However, as will be the case with all future medical conditions for Rodriguez, those questions will have to be asked.

For the Yankees part, Rodriguez's immediate replacement will be Cody Ransom, a Grand Canyon University product who has spent his entire career in the minor leagues, mostly in the Giants system.

Give that these are the Yankees, New York will almost certainly consider alternative options via a trade, as well. Milwaukee's Bill Hall could be available, but he's still battling an injury himself. Arizona's Chad Tracy is another potential fix, though both players would likely force the Yankees to give up significant high ceiling prospects to be attained, particularly since the Brewers and Diamondbacks would know that New York needs their players.

By Cameron Smith  |  March 5, 2009; 8:18 PM ET
Categories:  Yankees  
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Next: Cardinals Sign Reliever Dennys Reyes


Good news for O's fans

Posted by: BurgwithaU | March 5, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Rocket Man have a similar cyst issue? hmmm...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 5, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Bret Boone can fill in.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | March 5, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

BurgwithaU - How is this good news for O's fans? The only good news for the O's would be if the other five division team's planes crashed at the same time.

Posted by: ajlerner1 | March 5, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the urgency is and if the cyst absolutely must be removed now instead of at the end of the season. He'll be sitting on the bench, collecting a few hundred grand for every game he misses while the Yankees get squat. Couldn't this wait for 6 months? This cyst suddenly appeared now? It wasn't obvious 4 weeks ago? Another classic rip off by over paid, pampered pro sports personnel.

Posted by: DrFish | March 5, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Isn't his right hip the drug injection location?

Posted by: llrllr | March 5, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Why don't the Yankees look up Scott Brosius' number? Fans love him and think he's a much better addition to a team than A-Rod.

Posted by: adampschroeder | March 5, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

And...this news comes a few days after his meeting with MLB overlords, to boot. What are the odds.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | March 5, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, a chance for more drugs. The cheater and loser takes a couple of months away from the spotlight. I am so glad I don't like baseball anymore.

Posted by: mortified469 | March 5, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

This sounds like the Gilbert Arenas disease.
You know: elective surgery on the brink of the season. Maybe ARod can stretch this out long enough to avoid having to earn any of his $29mil or whatever it is this year.

Posted by: wartown1 | March 5, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

how does the world SPELL a-rod???

they spell it,

* L * O * S * E * R *

Posted by: Captain_Ron | March 5, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Part of the "team" of baseball players that destroyed America's past-time. He is a disgrace. I will not watch another baseball game until he is banned for life or Bud Selig reinstates Pete Rose, after all, isn't that a double standard?

Posted by: civilrightist | March 5, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

>Isn't his right hip the drug injection location?

If you're right-handed it is.

Posted by: Brue | March 5, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The warning label clearly states on steroid bottles that MLB players and laboratory animals injected with steroid have been know to tear labrums.

Posted by: waterboard | March 6, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

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