A-Rod still on track for January hip surgery

By Bryan Hoch /01/08/13 10:43 AM ET

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez's injury "prehab" is going well, and the third baseman is scheduled to have his left hip surgically repaired later this month, general manager Brian Cashman has confirmed.
Cashman said that Rodriguez remains on track with the club's expectations for the procedure, which could keep the 37-year-old out of New York's lineup until after the All-Star break.
The team is refraining from providing the exact date of the surgery, but it is expected to take place in January at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
"We have a date scheduled," Cashman said. "It will happen this month."
Rodriguez will have a torn labrum and hip impingement repaired in the procedure, which was first announced during the Winter Meetings in December.
Dr. Bryan Kelly, the orthopedic surgeon who will perform Rodriguez's surgery, told the New York Post in Tuesday's editions that he believes Rodriguez's injury is not related to past steroid use, and he believes it severely impacted A-Rod's woeful playoff performance.
"I was more surprised that he was able to play at all with a hip that looked like that," Kelly told the newspaper. "Most people would not be able to play with a hip function like this and the imaging that looked like his."
Kelly told the Post that the injury robbed Rodriguez of his internal rotation in the hips, explaining why Rodriguez complained of a "lack of explosiveness" late in the year.
That altered Rodriguez's mechanics, forcing him to open his front (left) foot and rely mostly on his arms to swing the bat during the postseason, when he batted .116 (5-for-43) with no extra-base hits and 18 strikeouts.
Kelly added that he does not believe Rodriguez's history with performance-enhancing drugs, which A-Rod has admitted to using from 2001-03 while with the Texas Rangers, contributed as a factor in either of the three-time American League MVP Award winner's hip injuries.
"The easiest question anyone can ask is if this is related to steroid use," Kelly told the Post. "I can say with 100 percent certainty this is not a steroid injury at all. This is a mechanical injury, and mechanics are something you are born with."
The doctor said that he believes Rodriguez will be able to return to the Yankees shortly after the All-Star break and can return to his levels of past production, though Kelly expects Rodriguez's rehab to go slower than his 2009 surgery, which was performed on his right hip by Vail, Colo.-based specialist Dr. Marc Philippon.
"I wouldn't in any way say Alex is an easy case," Kelly said. "There are a lot of complexities with him. ... I would say we are extremely optimistic that we can get Alex back to performing at a high level, but he has a lot of obstacles in the way to get there."
With Rodriguez expected to miss at least the first half of the season, the Yankees agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with former Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis in December.
Cashman has said that the Yankees are prepared to have Youkilis man third base for the entire season if necessary; Rodriguez's return could bump Youkilis to a backup role at first and third bases, with designated hitter duty mixed in.