A-Rod May Miss WBC With Hip Injury

Alex Rodriguez has a new problem.

Hours after Rodriguez played Tuesday for the Dominican Republic in a tuneup for the World Baseball Classic, the New York Yankees announced he would get his ailing hip checked by a specialist.

An exam Saturday revealed a cyst in Rodriguez's right hip. The 33-year-old slugger is scheduled to visit Dr. Marc Phillipon on Wednesday in Vail, Colo.

"Alex has proven his durability throughout his career, and we will take every precaution and step necessary to ensure his health as we near the start of the 2009 regular season and beyond," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement.

Rodriguez's status for the WBC was uncertain. The Dominicans' first game is Saturday against the Netherlands in Puerto Rico.

It has been a rough spring training for the All-Star third baseman.

Rodriguez arrived at the Yankees' camp last month in Tampa, Fla., shortly after a report that he had positive for steroids in 2003. During a news conference, he admitted he had used performance-enhancing drugs in 2001-03, saying they came from the Dominican and were provided by his cousin.

The man identified as that cousin picked up Rodriguez in an SUV after the Yankees' first exhibition game against Toronto in Dunedin, Fla. The next day, the Yankees told Rodriguez that his cousin should not be anywhere near the team during spring training or the regular season.

Rodriguez met with Major League Baseball's Department of Investigations and Labor Relations Department for two hours on Sunday. MLB wanted to interview him about his use of banned substances, and the commissioner's office said Rodriguez was "cooperative."

Rodriguez went 1-for-3 with a double and scored Tuesday in the Dominicans' 10-1 win over the Florida Marlins in Jupiter, Fla. He left after 4½ innings, and did not disclose his ailment during postgame interviews.

Rodriguez felt tightness and stiffness in his right hip this spring and was examined by team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad on Saturday, the Yankees said. An MRI exam showed the cyst.

The club contacted Phillipon, a specialist at Steadman-Hawkins Clinic, and Wednesday was the first day the doctor could see Rodriguez at his office.

"We felt it was in everyone's best interest for the team and the player to send Alex to Dr. Phillipon, who is regarded as the leading expert in his field," Cashman said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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