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A-Rod not expected to play until weekend series with Indians

CHICAGO -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez probably won't play until this weekend's series at Cleveland, even though he's scheduled to rejoin the team in Chicago on Thursday.

A-Rod missed his second straight game Wednesday because of a strained quadriceps, and manager Joe Girardi said he would be "shocked" if Rodriguez played in the series finale against the White Sox, although he didn't completely rule out the possibility.

"If he comes in and says he's ready to play, I'm putting him in there," said Girardi, adding his "hope" is Rodriguez will be ready to play sometime this weekend.

The reigning AL MVP, Rodriguez left Sunday's game against the Baltimore Orioles with a strained right quadriceps and had treatment in New York the following day. He then headed to Miami, where his wife gave birth to their second daughter Monday night.

Morgan Ensberg has been starting at third in place of Rodriguez, who is batting .308 with four homers and 10 RBIs.

In other news, Jason Giambi, who left Tuesday's game after a hard groundball deflected off his right thumb in the eighth inning, was back in the lineup at first base.

And Girardi had a pregame guest, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"We talked baseball," Girardi said.