NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez's surgeon says the New York Yankees third baseman probably will be ready to return to the field after the All-Star break.
"It would be great if he returns faster. Possible that it would take longer," Dr. Bryan Kelly of the Hospital for Special Surgery said Tuesday.
Kelly is scheduled to operate Jan. 16 on the 37-year-old's left hip, which has a torn labrum, bone impingement and a cyst. The procedure is estimated to take two hours,
"Can I give you a percentage chance as to whether or not he's going to be closer to the 15-year-old or the 60-year old?" Kelly said during a 40-minute conference call. "The imaging studies show that he has some cartilage wear that makes me think that we will get him back to his pre-injury level of play, that it's not so extensive that it will ultimately impact his ability to play. But unfortunately our imaging doesn't give us all the information, and that is something that we're going to know at the time of surgery or after the time of surgery, during that investigative portion of the procedure."
Kelly said the condition, known as femoral acetabular impingement, was caused by genes, not by steroids. Rodriguez admitted in 2009 that he used steroids while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03.
"This is a developmental, genetic predisposition to a certain shape of the hip joint that occurs during the first 15 years of development," Kelly said. "Steroids don't change the shape of your bones, of your hip joint.
Kelly said the injury was responsible for Rodriguez's poor performance in September and October, when A-Rod was benched in three of nine postseason games and pinch hit for in three others. He batted .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs in the playoffs, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitchers.