Sunday, July 10, 2011

Alex Rodriguez to have knee surgery; out 4-to-6 weeks(Photo-Video)

NEW YORK – The news deflated the stragglers in the Yankee clubhouse who hadn’t already sprinted out the door to the All-Star break.
Alex Rodriguez needs surgery on his sore right knee.
He will undergo an arthroscopic procedure today at the University of Miami to repair a slight tear of his meniscus. Rodriguez will miss four to six weeks.
Miami-based orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lee Kaplan will perform the surgery.
“It’s a huge blow, man,” Robinson Cano said. “To lose a guy like him, that’s the kind of guy you really need in your lineup, a guy who puts up good numbers, a guy who produces. A guy a pitcher doesn’t want to face.
“It’s a big, big loss to lose a guy like him.”
Rodriguez decided Sunday to have the surgery after being examined by Kaplan and discussing his options with team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad. The tear had been discovered in an MRI on Friday after manager Joe Girardi noticed Rodriguez was not driving the ball and teammates remarked that he was not running normally.
Rodriguez, who turns 36 later this month, had hit .321 with nine RBI in the 14 games since he injured his knee June 19 running the bases at Wrigley Field.
But he hasn’t hit a home run since June 11, a span of 85 at-bats — the longest single-season drought of his career. The 14-time All-Star has hit at least 30 home runs in 13 consecutive seasons, but has just 13 this year in 305 at-bats. He is hitting .295 with 52 RBI this season.
The loss of the Yankees’ cleanup hitter until early-to-mid-August is a blow to a team that made it to the All-Star break having survived without Derek Jeter for 18 games and starter Phil Hughes for 2½ months. It also dealt with the decimation of its bullpen due to injuries.
“There’s no doubt we’re going to miss him, but we need to find a way,” Girardi said in a statement. “As I’ve said several times already this year, some people are going to have to step up. Up to this point, this team has.”
A team spokesman said he did not know if Rodriguez would return in four weeks or would be able to merely perform baseball activities in that timeframe.
Rodriguez discussed the injury with CC Sabathia, who has twice suffered a meniscus tear in his knee.
“We definitely want him in the lineup, but we want him to be right, and he wasn’t the past couple of days,” Sabathia said.
He added that he felt healthy after about four weeks following surgery. But that may not translate to a position player.
“Playing third is a lot different than pitching,” Sabathia said. “Running the bases is a lot different than pitching. Swinging the bat and having to be driving the ball is a lot different.”
Eduardo Nunez ( .277, 3 HRs, 14 RBI) will fill in at third base, as he did this weekend.
“I feel bad for him,” he said. “You never want to see a teammate hurt. If they need me, I can do it.”

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