A-Rod out with tendinitis in hip flexor

Updated: June 12, 2010, 12:26 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- It turns out that Alex Rodriguez does have a problem with his right hip, although not, according to Joe Girardi, in the area that was surgically repaired in March 2009 and cost Rodriguez the first 28 games of last season.

After consulting with team trainer Gene Monahan, Girardi announced that an MRI performed on his third baseman showed tendinitis in the right hip flexor.

"Anytime he has a problem in that region there's a red flag that's going to go up in all of us," Girardi said. "Any pain in that area is certainly a concern."

There's a possibility Rodriguez could sit over the weekend. An idea Girardi didn't deny.

"It does make logic sense with Monday [being a day off],'' Rodriguez said in an impromptu news conference set up by the Yankees outside the home clubhouse following Friday night's 4-3 win over the Houston Astros. "I think that's a decision we'll all have to make together.''

Officially, the staus of Rodriguez, who left Thursday's game in Baltimore after the first innng with ''tightness'' in his right groin, is day to day, but manager Joe Girardi said, "I wouldn't count on him in there tomorrow, so I guess that's not really day to day. Hopefully it's sooner rather than later. We'll see how he is Sunday and if it's not Sunday, then we'll see how he is Tuesday and if it's not Tuesday, then we'll see how he is Wednesday.''

Rodriguez underwent an MRI before Friday's game, which according to the Yankees, revealed no damage related to the surgery performed on the labrum in his right hip last March, only tendinitis in his right hip flexor.

In his place Friday night, Ramiro Pena played third base and Robinson Cano batted cleanup, going 1-for-4 with a run scored.

"I'm told it's nothing related to the surgery,'' Girardi said. "I don't think you can ever rule anything out 100 percent, but you're talking about a hip flexor compared to the labrum, which is deep in the joint. To me those are two different issues.''

Fears that Rodriguez was having trouble in the surgically repaired area were fueled when A-Rod said Thursday he would speak with Dr. Marc Philippon, the surgeon who performed the operation and said at the time he would need a second procedure to completely repair the damage.

But this spring training, Philippon gave Rodriguez a clean bill of health and said he would need no more surgery. However, his early season performance -- he has the same number of home runs, eight, that he had at this point last year, but in more than twice as many at-bats -- gave rise to suspicions that something was physically wrong with Rodriguez, suspicions that grew when he was held out of game in May with unspecified soreness in his right leg, and again last Sunday, when he left a game in Toronto with tightness in his groin.

"In the future, we might handle him a little different on the (artificial) turf in Toronto because that's where it all started,'' Girardi said. "It might be a situation where you sit him in Toronto in the middle game of a three-game series.''

Curiously, Rodriguez disagreed with the diagnosis of a hip flexor problem. "To me, it's my groin,'' he said. "My groin. I've had hip flexor and I know how the hip feels. I know it was my groin. It's all pretty connected there. Pretty much what I feel is my groin, which is connected to my hip flexor. The most important thing is, the MRI came back negative so overall, I feel pretty good and I'm glad we got good news today.''

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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