Baseball Notebook

A-Rod out 6-9 weeks

Associated Press / March 9, 2009
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Alex Rodriguez will have arthroscopic hip surgery today and is expected to miss 6-9 weeks. The Yankees slugger will need further surgery after the season.

The diagnosis by Dr. Marc Philippon yesterday was yet another jolt to Rodriguez during a tumultuous spring training in which the three-time American League Most Valuable Player admitted using steroids from 2001-03 while with Texas.

Philippon spoke from Vail, Colo., on a conference call with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Philippon will perform the procedure.

Philippon is confident in the "85-90 percent range" that Rodriguez will be able to play through the entire regular season.

"I firmly believe this approach will be successful and allow Alex to return," Philippon said. "Short term, we feel the risk is very limited that he will re-tear his labrum during that six-, seven-month period."

The decision eliminates the option of Rodriguez treating the injury with rest and rehab. This operation will not completely correct the hip. More aggressive surgery would have sidelined Rodriguez up to four months.

Rodriguez has a torn labrum and a cyst in his right hip. The cyst was drained Wednesday, and he tested the hip's strength and flexibility. His hip had been fine until he experienced stiffness during spring training this year.

Philippon attributed the labrum tear to the rotational stress that Rodriguez - "a very strong hitter, strong batter" - places on his hip.

"Because of all the test findings, analysis, the function of Alex, I feel it's in his best interest to have his labrum repaired, remove part of his impingement and therefore stabilize his labrum," he said.

Rodriguez could swing a bat as a range-of-motion drill as soon as seven days after surgery.

Youkilis sparks US
Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer and scored four times, Adam Dunn and Ryan Braun added solo shots, and the United States powered its way into the second round of the World Baseball Classic by beating Venezuela, 15-6, in Toronto before a crowd of 13,094. Chris Iannetta and Mark DeRosa each had four RBIs for Team USA, which broke it open with an eight-run sixth inning. Every US starter had a hit except Chipper Jones, lifted in the sixth because of a mild oblique strain. Victor Zambrano took the loss, allowing four runs and two hits in one inning . . . Miguel Olivo homered twice and drove in five runs, and the Dominican Republic beat Panama, 9-0, at San Juan . . . Frederich Cepeda hit two of Cuba's WBC-record six homers in an 8-1 victory over South Africa at Mexico City . . . South Korea advanced to the second round with a 14-0 rout of China in seven innings at Tokyo . . . Angels righthander Ervin Santana will start the season on the disabled list because of a sprained elbow ligament according to the Los Angeles Times.

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