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And the return could not come soon enough for the Yankees, who enter tonight's game against the Rays at 13-14 and losers of four straight.

After playing host to the Rays tonight, the Bombers head to Baltimore to take on the Orioles tomorrow night for the start of a three-game series. The Yankees then travel to Toronto to take on the AL East-leading Blue Jays.

Rodriguez would make his debut in the new Yankee Stadium next Friday when the Twins are in The Bronx.

"We are getting a lot closer and I am encouraged," Joe Girardi said before Wednesday night's game. "Our roster could change drastically in a couple days."

The Yankees have lacked production from third base, the position Rodriguez vacated when going on the disabled list. Cody Ransom was slated as the team's starter as the position, but he struggled before being placed on the 60-day disabled list with a quadriceps injury on April 25. Angel Berroa replaced Ransom, but Ramiro Pena has started eight of the past nine games.


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The combined stats for the trio are ugly: a .216 batting average (22-for-102), 11 runs and 10 RBIs. The three do not have a single home run between them.

Rodriguez hit .302 with 35 home runs and 103 RBIs last season.

Mark Teixeira, who likely will bat in front of Rodriguez in the lineup tomorrow, has been struggling without Rodriguez's protection. The first baseman is batting .209 with five home runs this season and has started to hears boos at home games.

Rodriguez was embroiled in a winter of controversy after Sports Illustrated reported he was on a list of 104 players who tested positive for steroids in 2003. The list was supposed to be anonymous and the names protected.

Just as Rodriguez was about to get a slight break from the attention at spring training, joining the Dominican team for the World Baseball Classic, he had to fly to Colorado to have his ailing hip checked out.

The pain, which A-Rod first felt last season, turned out to be much more severe than expected. Rodriguez and the team went back and forth on what to do and eventually decided on a "hybrid" surgery that would take 6-9 weeks of recovery.

The other options were a more extensive surgery that would have kept him sidelined for four months, or playing through the injury.

Rodriguez had successful surgery March 9 and has been rehabbing since, first in Colorado where the surgery took place then at the Yankees training facility in Tampa.

Rodriguez has been playing in minor-league games for a week now and yesterday slid into a base for the first time since the surgery.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 7, 2009

Baltimore Orioles News

News » Report: A-Rod expected back for Yanks on Friday

Report: A-Rod expected back for Yanks on Friday

Report: A-Rod expected back for Yanks on Friday
The plan is for Alex Rodriguez to be in the Yankees lineup as the third baseman Friday night in Baltimore, the New York Post has learned.

A conference call was scheduled between Rodriguez and members of the Yankees front office for Thursday afternoon, and A-Rod was going to tell the organization how he felt and what his preference was for when to return from hip surgery.

But the understanding going into the game, according to two sources, was that if there were no problems in today's intrasquad game, then he would rejoin the Yankees tomorrow and play.

Rodriguez went 0-for-2 with two walks and played three innings of defense in the intrasquad game.

Afterward, the three-time AL MVP shook hands and thanked support staff at the Yankees' minor league complex for their work after taking extra grounders and batting practice following the intrasquad game.

Rodriguez credited Dr. Marc Philippon, who operated on the hip, and Dr. Mark Lindsay, a soft-tissue expert who has worked with him daily in Florida, for the success of his rehab program.

"They have worked (hard) with me," Rodriguez said. "Philippon did a good job with the surgery. I feel blessed."

The Yankees had set a target date of May 15 for Rodriguez's return from the March 9 surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, but from the beginning there were reports the slugger could be back a week earlier.

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