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Alex Rodriguez to have hip surgery

Left labrum procedure to keep A-Rod out for part of '13
12/03/2012 2:07 PM ET
By Jon Lane
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will undergo a left hip arthroscopy to repair a torn labrum, bone impingement and the correction of a cyst. The team made the announcement on Monday afternoon and expect Rodriguez to miss four-to-six months.

The New York Post was first to report the situation, adding that it will take place in January to repair a torn labrum on his left hip, not the surgically repaired right hip from 2009. After the news broke, Ken Rosenthal Tweeted that Rodriguez’s injury occurred before the postseason, he was on pain medication throughout the playoffs and spent the night in an emergency room following one of the ALDS games. The Yankees said  the injury was discovered after the conclusion of the season during Rodriguez’s regularly scheduled annual November physical evaluation with Dr. Marc Philippon, who performed A-Rod's first surgery in '09. Dr. Bryan Kelly will perform this procedure at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Dr. Philippon performed the first procedure in Colorado. At that time, Philippon repaired the right hip labrum, removed an impingement in the joint and drained a cyst.  The prognosis was so encouraging that there wasn’t a need for second operation. Rodriguez returned that season on May 9 and hit a three-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles. He finished the campaign with his 12th straight season of 30 home runs and 100 RBIs and helped lead the Yankees to their 27th World Championship.

Rodriguez, 37 and with $114 million remaining on a contract that takes him through 2017, batted .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs in 122 games for the Yankees last season, but hit .120 in the postseason, a blackout that prompted Joe Girardi to pinch-hit Raul Ibanez for the three-time AL MVP in the Game 3 ALDS victory over Baltimore. According to the Yankees, both doctors believe that there is "a very strong possibility that Rodriguez’s hip condition may have had a negative effect on his performance during the latter stages of the season and the playoffs."

Combined with Derek Jeter’s uncertain timetable coming off a fractured ankle, the Yankees need help on the left side of the infield. The Dodgers are shopping light-hitting, but lightning-quick, shortstop Dee Gordon. Free agent options include Stephen Drew, Marco Scutaro, Jeff Keppinger (recovering from a broken right fibula) and former Boston Red Sox slugger Kevin Youkilis.

Eric Chavez, who spent the last two seasons in the Bronx, is also available and intends on playing in 2013. Chavez batted .281 with 16 homers and 37 RBIs in 133 games last year, but went hitless in 17 at-bats in the playoffs, during which he started ahead of A-Rod.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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