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Yankees hope Rodriguez can avoid hip surgery

ALEX Rodriguez will attempt to play this season with an injured right hip, hoping to avoid surgery and a four-month rehabilitation period.

A cyst in the hip was drained on Wednesday, and the New York Yankees third baseman will skip playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Still, he has a torn labrum that might need an operation.

"There's two courses of action concerning what he has," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Thursday. "Treat it conservatively, which would imply rest, exercise and treatment. Or you can treat it aggressively, which is by surgery. At this point in time, we are going to go the conservative route."

The diagnosis was yet another jolt to Rodriguez during a tumult-filled past month in which the three-time MVP admitted using banned drugs from 2001-03 while with Texas.

"He's been through a lot, and you probably can go through the last year that he's been through a lot," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's been pretty good in staying focused in what he has to do. The thing about Alex, we all know how hard he works. He's able to do a lot of things because of his work ethic, and you hope that carries him though this year as well."

Girardi was concerned Rodriguez could start the Major League Baseball season in April and then have to be shut down.

Earlier, reported that Rodriguez's brother, Joe Dunand, said the slugger was going to have surgery, with a projected 10-week recovery time.

Cashman said Rodriguez's preference was to try rest and treatment first, but that offseason surgery might be an option. He added the team hopes the cyst was the cause of stiffness that had bothered the 12-time MLB All-Star.

The injury potentially leaves a huge hole in the lineup for the Yankees, trying to rebound after missing the playoffs last season following 13 consecutive appearances.

Last year, Rodriguez was sidelined from April 28 to May 20 because of a strained right quadriceps -- his fifth career trip to the disabled list.


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