Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he expects Alex Rodriguez to be back in the lineup this week despite a setback that sent the 38-year-old third baseman to a New York hospital on Sunday for an MRI on his injured left quadriceps muscle.
Girardi told reporters before the Yankees' game against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night that Rodriguez is likely to make his 2013 debut on Tuesday against the Texas Rangers.
"I would be surprised if he played Monday," Girardi said. "Tuesday's possible."
Rodriguez had surgery on his left hip in January and has not played yet this season. His 20-day minor-league rehab assignment expired on Sunday, and the Yankees must activate him or put him back on the disabled list.
Rodriguez told reporters in Scranton, Pa., on Sunday that he expected to work out on Monday and be back in the lineup on Tuesday. He wasn't sure if he would play third or DH on his return, he said.
"I think we're all a little bit anxious to see how he looks physically and how he's moving," Girardi said. "I've talked to people that have seen him and said he ran good yesterday. ... I am anxious to see. He hasn't played in a while and he's almost 38. You kind of want to see what you've got."
If Rodriguez can regain the form that helped him win three AL MVP awards -- rather than the one that got him benched during the 2012 playoffs -- his return would be a boost for a lineup that has been without most of its biggest stars.
Shortstop Derek Jeter on Friday was returned to the disabled list, where he's spent all but one game. First baseman Mark Teixeira (wrist surgery), outfielder Curtis Granderson (broken pinkie) and catcher Francisco Cervelli (broken hand) are also injured.
During the offseason, Rodriguez's name surfaced in an investigation of Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Florida linked with the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs. He met with investigators from Major League Baseball earlier this month.