A-Rod needs hip surgery, will miss season’s start

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Alex Rodriguez will undergo surgery on his left hip and will miss the start of the 2013 season and possibly the entire first half.

Rodriguez has a torn labrum, bone impingement and a cyst, the Yankees said Monday. The third baseman will need to follow a pre-surgery program over the next 4-6 weeks, and the team anticipates he will be sidelined 4-6 months after the operation. That timetable projects to a return between the start of May and mid-July.

A-Rod had right hip surgery on March 9, 2009, and returned that May 8. The Yankees said this operation will be “similar but not identical.”

Rodriguez, who turns 38 in July, complained of pain in his right hip the night Raul Ibanez pinch hit for him — and hit a tying ninth-inning home run — against Baltimore during the AL division series in October.

His left hip injury was detected last month during an exam by Dr. Marc Philippon, who operated on Rodriguez three years ago. A-Rod then got a second opinion from Dr. Bryan Kelly, who will repair the latest injury at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

“Both doctors believe that there is a very strong possibility that Rodriguez’s hip condition may have had a negative effect on his performance during the latter stages of the season and the playoffs,” the Yankees said.

Rodriguez was benched in three of nine postseason games and pinch hit for in three others. He hit .120 (3-for-25) with no RBI in the playoffs, including 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitchers.

A-Rod broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch from Seattle’s Felix Hernandez on July 24. He returned Sept. 3 and hit .195 with two home runs and six RBI over the final month of the regular season.

This will be Rodriguez’s sixth trip to the disabled list in six seasons. He had a strained quadriceps in 2008, the hip surgery in 2009, a strained calf in 2010, knee surgery in 2011 and the broken hand this year.

Signed to a record $275 million, 10-year contract after the 2007 season, Rodriguez is owed $114 million by New York over the next five years.

Fifth on the career list with 647 home runs, he had just 34 over the past two seasons.

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