(UPDATED) A-Rod potentially out until summer following hip surgery

We expect big news to emerge from the Winter Meetings, but unfortunately the first big development for the Yankees is the impending hip surgery of Alex Rodriguez. George King had the initial report that A-Rod was getting his surgically repaired hip looked at, and his Post colleague Joel Sherman followed that up by breaking that Alex would, in fact, be having surgery to fix the injury. It’s not yet clear what this will mean in terms of Alex getting on the field and being productive next season, but it seems like a given that he’ll miss at least some time, and when you factor his age and existing level of regression into the equation, you have to wonder if the days of being able to count on A-Rod being anything but an average player for the Yankees are just about behind us for good.

We do, however, have some additional details about the surgery and the injury itself. On the former, Mark Feinsand reports that the surgery will be performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly, and not Marc Phillippon, who did A-Rod’s initial procedure back in 2008. I suppose that’s some pretty interesting news, but maybe A-Rod just wants to see if the luck of the Irish can rub off on him (sorry, couldn’t help it)? Secondly, Ken Rosenthal tweeted some information that has set the interwebs ablaze: A-Rod re-injured the hip before the playoffs began, and was playing through severe pain in October. Rosenthal even passes along that the pain was so severe A-Rod spent the night in the ER after one ALDS game (my guess is Game 4, and that it played a role in why Alex wasn’t even in the starting lineup for Game 5). There’s a lot of different questions that could be raised about that, given how much of a beating A-Rod was taking during the playoffs, but I’m not really eager to write at length about any of them until we get some sort of explanation, or at least more details, from the team. If you’re really interested though, you can follow me on Twitter. I’m sure a good chunk of the day will be devoted to tweeting about A-Rod.

Correction: Reports now indicate that it’s A-Rod’s left hip that is injured, not the right hip that he previously had surgery on. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse, honestly.

Update: Well this didn’t take long: multiple reporters are now tweeting the recovery time for A-Rod is expected to be in the 4-6 months range. Mark Feinsand specifically says that a source told him the Yankees don’t expect to have A-Rod back until June or July, which would leave Alex missing roughly the first half of the season.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

17 thoughts on “(UPDATED) A-Rod potentially out until summer following hip surgery

  1. John

    Being a total optimist here, but you have to wonder if it was tightening up on him even earlier and is some explanation for his total lack of power last season. So maybe next year after this surgery he will be even more productive?

    I will now count on Jay to come in and be the Yin to my Yang so there can be some balance on the boards.

    Take it away Jay!

  2. Bill

    Frankly, that explains a lot. I would think Nunez should at least be considered to play 3B and Chavez should be re-signed. Plus, add another relatively inexpensive RH bat (Scott Hairston?) for insurance. Keppinger would have been ideal, but another broken legged infielder isn't exactly what the doctor ordered. Not to mention bringing Ichiro back into the fold.

    Have to be realistic here. This team is in 1965-like trouble. But Cashman is a better GM that Ralph Houk was back in the day (and even the haters have to admit that), so let's see what he can pull out of his bag of tricks.

  3. Playing at less than half strength is NEVER a good idea. One, you risk further damage. Two, your replacement at 100% (is Chavez ever at 100%?) is usually better than your starter at <50%. Three, it puts the injured player at reputational risk.

    And that reputational risk for ARod couldn't be any greater. I'm no huge fan of his but lordy, if we only knew the guy was suffering like this, the narrative sure would have been different.

    Since when did Belechick gain control of our injury updates anyways?

    • Moiuz

      I totally agree. But atleast now we know the reasons for his struggles against righties. Yankees will be fine and having A-Rod 100% in much much better than having him not healthy for the entire season.

  4. Moiuz

    So its reported at nbcsports.com that Arod went to ER during postseason because of severe hip pain and he was on pain killer. Damn that explains his struggles quite a bit. I wonder why this report wasn't leaked. Flirtgate was leaked but wasn't this.

  5. jay_robertson

    Maybe they kept it quiet to keep the opposing team honest? A struggling Alex is still more of a threat than an injured Alex. Plus – I can just see the other team laying one bunt after another down the 3rd base line until Alex's leg fell off.

    @John – thanks, but imho, this news is bad enough without my help. I like that its a new hip – but otoh, the thought of two repaired hips doesn't sound THAT encouraging. Unless maybe he can rehab at Barto's clinic in the Dominican.

    • Moiuz

      Well, its bad and good. More good than bad, i think. It explains quite a bit.

    • John

      Well to be honest, keeping it quiet helped them maybe in the ALDS, but certainly not in ALCS. Plus I think I they kept it quiet to try and keep Alex out of the papers, but that didn't really pan out either.

      I agree on it being bad news Jay, but I still hold out optimism that the surgery will help his power numbers. You just can't get really turn on a ball with a bad hip. It would certainly be a reasonable explanation for his struggle against the fast ball (no bat speed) and righties (as Moiuz mentioned earlier).

      Anyway, I'm rooting for Alex to turn it around. Not only for the team's sake, but because I like him as a player.

  6. Amanda

    I don't understand why he didn't get his hip looked at earlier, like in October when he wasn't doing anything except keeping the bench warm. Had he gotten this taken care of in October than he'd only be out until April, right? I have never understood why players wait until halfway into the off season to get injuries looked at and surgery out of the way.

    • Moiuz

      From what i understood. He tore his his sometime late in the regular season so he was playing in september with a bad hip. I guess it was not causing enough pain to warrant a check up. During ALDS, he was heavily medicated and went to ER. After ALCS game 1, he went to ER and had an MRI done on his Right hip (previously repaired) and it checked out fine. Postseason ended without discovering new tear. So recently (after postseason) he went and saw Dr. Philippon, surgeon who performed the original procedure on his torn labrum-right hip, and new tear was discovered in his left hip.

      Why can't he have surgery now? Because he needs pre surgery rehab.

  7. Eli

    Totally unrelated but the red sucks have agreed to a three year deal with Napoli.

    • mcmastro

      waste of money. It's not like he's the missing piece they need, and he can't play defense. His bat will be there for at least the first 2 years of the contract though. At least they managed to only go 3 years though.

  8. Guest

    I recall after the playoffs Keith Law saying that A-Rod's power was gone because he wasn't getting any rotation from his lower body. I guess now we know why.

  9. Allen

    So…with the insurance company paying a good chunk of arod's salary next season, why is ichiro still unsigned?

    • Urban

      The Yankees are self-insured. The cost of insuraing long-term contracts is so high that most, if not all teams don't bother.

      • Allen

        ouch…didn't realize that

  10. Norm

    There's something fishy going on here. If, as it seems to being reported, this hip injury was the cause of A-Rod's lack of production in the playoffs, what was all that drama with Girardi? If it was so bad he needed to visit a ER, obviously the team knew. Why wouldn't they just report it, instead of allowing the media to report the two were at odds? I could understand what others have said here, that they didn't want the other team to know, but that only flies if he was tearing the cover off the ball, which obviously wasn't happening. None of this makes a lot of sense to me.

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