After months of speculation surrounding New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and his upcoming surgery, questions have finally been answered, as the 37 year-old third baseman will undergo surgery on his left hip on January 16, reports Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
With a date now set, Dr. Bryan Kelly, who will be performing the procedure at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, expects A-Rod to return at the All-Star break.
"That's what we're hoping for him given all the variables," said Kelly. "It'd be great if he returns faster. There's a possibility it will take longer… That's the best estimate for his hip at this time, but it's subject to change."
The Yankees knew A-Rod would need surgery following the 2012 postseason in which the three-time MVP struggled and was even benched, but pushed the operation back to January to give A-Rod time to strengthen the muscles surrounding the hip, which will speed up the recovery process following the procedure.
"Operating earlier actually will frequently result in a more prolonged recovery afterward because it takes longer for the muscles to respond and recover from the surgery," Kelly said. "The ultimate issue is… what is the best strategy to get somebody back to full function the fastest."
Rodriguez will be looking to return to his old form once recovering from his hip procedure, after hitting .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI last season, followed by a 3-25 (.120 average) performance in seven postseason games.
In addition to discussing a possible return date for A-Rod, Dr. Kelly also cleared up the rumors of A-Rod's injury being caused by the use of steroids.
"This is not a drug-induced problem. It is a developmental problem," said Kelly. "This has nothing to do with performance-enhancing drugs."
In 2009, Rodriguez admitted using performance-enhancing drugs for a three-year period beginning in 2001 as a member of the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez hit 156 home runs in those three seasons.
Earlier this offseason, the Yankees signed former rival Kevin Youkilis to fill in at third base while A-Rod is sidelined throughout the first half of the season.
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