Alex Rodriguez is headed for left hip surgery and is expected to miss part of the 2013 season, the team announced on Monday.
He’ll undergo a left hip arthroscopy to repair a torn labrum, bone impingement and the correction of a cyst, according to the team, which also said the problem was discovered during a rioutine November physical. The Yankees then got a second opinion from Dr. Bryan Kelly, who will perform the procedure in New York.
Rodriguez is expected to undergo surgery in January, with a three- to six-month recovery thereafter. The procedure won’t occur immediately because Rodriguez must first go through a four- to six-week prehabilitation regimen.
The news, first reported by the New York Post, sent a shockwave through the opening hours of baseball’s winter meetings. The New York Yankees are left with a significant question mark at third base and will look to add a player at the position – despite a thin free-agent class there.
Marco Scutaro, Stephen Drew and Jeff Keppinger are among the possibilities on the open market, but Drew has played all of his 792 career games at shortstop and Keppinger is coming off a broken right fibula. The Yankees could pursue San Diego’s Chase Headley via trade, but the price is likely to be steep.
Rodriguez underwent right hip surgery before the 2009 season and sustained the injury to his other hip before this year’s playoffs began, according to a source. A-Rod was on pain medication throughout the Yankees’ postseason run, which helps explain the depth of his struggles over that period. The pain in his hip was so severe after one Division Series game that he had to be taken to an emergency room overnight.
Still, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman insisted in an interview last month that the team had no plans for A-Rod to be anything but its everyday third baseman.
“There is no discussion whatsoever about Alex transitioning from third base to DH, part-time DH, first base or any other position on the field,” Cashman said then. “As we approach anyone in the free-agent market or anyone in trades, we’re making sure we have insurance policies, (asking) our what-ifs?”