BOSTON — New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez isn’t ready to rejoin the team.
The Yankees said Rodriguez has a Grade 1 strain of his left quadriceps muscle and won’t be able to return this week in Texas, as had been planned. Instead, Rodriguez will remain on the disabled list and return to Tampa, Fla., “for rest and treatment,” the Yankees said in a statement issued before their game against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night.
Rodriguez and manager Joe Girardi had said they were hoping he would return for Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers. But he was sent to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI on Sunday, and team Dr. Christopher Ahmad diagnosed the injury.
Girardi told reporters at Fenway Park at about 5:50 p.m. that that Rodriguez was likely to make his 2013 debut on Tuesday.
“I would be surprised if he played Monday. Tuesday’s possible,” he said.
But at 7:37 p.m. — about a half-hour before Sunday’s game — the Yankees sent reporters an email saying the nearly 38-year-old three-time AL MVP “will not be joining the team for its series in Texas.”
Rodriguez had surgery on his left hip in January and hasn’t played a major league game yet this season. His 20-day minor-league rehab assignment expired on Sunday, and the Yankees had to activate him or leave him on the disabled list.
The team said it might petition Major League Baseball for an additional rehab assignment because of the new injury.
“I think we’re all a little bit anxious to see how he looks physically and how he’s moving,” Girardi said before the results of the MRI were announced. “I’ve talked to people that have seen him and said he ran good yesterday. … I am anxious to see. He hasn’t played in a while and he’s almost 38. You kind of want to see what you’ve got.”
Rodriguez told reporters in Scranton, Pa., on Sunday that he expected to work out on Monday and be back in the lineup on Tuesday. He wasn’t sure if he would play third or DH on his return, he said.
If Rodriguez can regain his MVP form — rather than the one that got him benched during the 2012 playoffs — his return would be a boost for a lineup that has been without most of its biggest stars.
Shortstop Derek Jeter on Friday was placed back on the disabled list, where he has spent all but one game this season. First baseman Mark Teixeira (wrist surgery), outfielder Curtis Granderson (broken pinkie) and catcher Francisco Cervelli (broken hand) are also injured.
During the offseason, Rodriguez’s name surfaced in an investigation of Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Florida linked with the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs. He met with investigators from Major League Baseball earlier this month.