Alex Rodriguez could be back in the pinstripes by this time next week.
The New York Yankees slugger is set to finish his minor league rehab assignment over the weekend and could be ready to re-join the team for its series in Texas next week. The nearly 38-year-old Rodriguez is recovering from his second hip surgery, and hasn’t played in a major league game since his atrocious 2012 playoff stint where he went 3-for-25 and was benched.
His return could be a significant boost for the Yankees, who currently stand at 51-44, six games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox.
“That’s the hope,” general manager Brian Cashman said in a phone conversation Wednesday about A-Rod’s return. “We’ll see through the weekend. We started the 20-day rehab and once we felt he could complete the 20 days and be available to us in Texas. So let’s get through the weekend and see where he is at and see if he is major league able.”
The Yankees plan to work out Rodriguez and determine if he’s ready for action. If not, he’ll stay on the disabled list and could continue his rehab before going on another minor-league assignment.
Despite the planned return, there is still a great deal of uncertainty of what could happen to Rodriguez because of his connection to the Biogenesis scandal. A-Rod has reportedly been linked to a South Florida clinic that provided performance-enhancing drugs to several players, and could face a lengthy suspension.
But a source close to the investigation said this week that the appeal process for players would last so long that suspensions may start until the 2014 season.
The Yankees are hoping Alex Rodriguez and captain Derek Jeter will soon be able to take the field together. Jeter himself just finished a long rehab stint for a broken ankle, but in his first game back tweaked a quad muscle, pulling him back out of the lineup.