MRI, PEDs & A-Rod: Bronx Zoo, indeed
The ongoing saga of Alex Rodriguez took more interesting twists on Wednesday, this time his current employer taking issue with the way Rodriguez sought out a second opinion on his injured quad — before a story surfaced linking that doctor to steroids.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman issued a statement late in the day providing the team's view on Rodriguez's strained quadriceps, which derailed the slugger's planned return to the majors after missing all of this season to date. In the statement, Cashman accused the third baseman of being dishonest with the team and even violating MLB's collective bargaining agreement.
Here is the statement in its entirety:
“I heard via a text message this afternoon from Alex Rodriguez that he had retained a doctor to review his medical situation. In media reports, we have since learned that the doctor in question has acknowledged that he did not examine Mr. Rodriguez and that he was not retained to do a comprehensive medical examination of Mr. Rodriguez. Contrary to the Basic Agreement, Mr. Rodriguez did not notify us at any time that he was seeking a second opinion from any doctor with regard to his quad strain.
“As you know, it is the Yankees’ desire to have Alex return to the lineup as soon as possible. And we have done everything to try and accomplish this.
“As early as Friday, July 12, when I suggested to Alex that we move his rehab from Tampa to Triple-A Scranton (at Buffalo), Alex complained for the first time of “tightness” in his quad and therefore refused to consent to the transfer of his assignment. Again, last Sunday, Alex advised that he had stiffness in his quad and should not play on Sunday or Monday. We sent Alex to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI which evidenced a Grade 1 strain.
“As always, we will follow the rules and regulations set forth in the Basic Agreement, and will again re-evaluate Alex in Tampa tomorrow, as our goal is to return him to the lineup as soon as he is medically capable of doing so.”
Later in the evening, The Associated Press reported that the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners filed an order of reprimand against Dr. Michael Gross on Feb. 13 for his conduct at his Active Center for Health & Wellness.
“The board ordered and Dr. Gross agreed to be formally reprimand(ed) for permitting an individual who had completed medical school but did not have a medical license to participate in the care and treatment of patients at the center and failing to adequately ensure proper patient treatment involving the prescribing of hormones including steroids at the center,” The AP reported, citing the disciplinary summary on the New Jersey Attorney General's division of consumer affairs website.
The orthopedist was fined $30,000 and ordered to pay $10,000 in costs.
Clearly, A-Rod and the Yankees have had their issues. Just last month, after Rodriguez tweeted an update on his injury status (a violation of team policy), Cashman told a reporter, "Alex should just shut the f*** up."
Even the quad injury itself has been a point of contention between the parties, with varying reports surfacing about whether A-Rod would undergo an MRI and the severity of the injury. Ultimately, he reported to the Yankees' minor league complex on Wednesday, saying he felt "great" but with a timetable for a return to the field on hold.
Of course, all of the talk of a return to the field could be moot as Rodriguez is under investigation by MLB for alleged PED use. The Brewers' Ryan Braun was suspended for the remainder of the season on Monday, fueling speculation on what punishment Rodriguez could receive.