MRI: Alex Rodriguez has slight strain

Updated: August 18, 2010, 12:56 AM ET
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez underwent an MRI on Thursday night at New York Presbyterian Hospital that revealed a low grade strain of his left calf.

The Yankees said Rodriguez is day to day. He was out of the lineup on Tuesday night against the Tigers. Rodriguez didn't think he'd be back in the lineup for Wednesday's game against Detroit.

Rodriguez
Rodriguez

"Usually, I've been very fortunate to be a quick healer and we'll keep our fingers crossed," Rodriguez said after the Yankees' 6-2 win over the Tigers. "I'm not concerned. I'm gonna be fine."

Rodriguez was unsure if he'd be available as a pinch-hitter on Wednesday. He said the biggest challenge would be "anything explosive" such as running out of the batter's box.

Rodriguez left Monday's game against Detroit in the bottom of the fourth after flying out to right field.

Rodriguez said he was treated by Yankees assistant trainer Steve Donohue before the game for slight pain in his calf. He believes the injury flared up when he took "about four or five steps out of the [batter's] box" after flying out to right. He was replaced by Ramiro Pena at third after leaving Monday night's game. Pena started in place of Rodriguez on Tuesday and went 1-for-3 in the Yankees' 6-2 win.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he believed Rodriguez's strain was "not as significant" as the calf injury that sidelined Yankees catcher Jorge Posada for six days in May.

Cashman said Rodriguez's injury was "not a serious situation" but then added "it's obviously serious in the fact that we don't have him for a period of time."

"We'd rather have him in there but we'll get him going when he's ready," the general manager said.

Rodriguez received treatment from team trainers prior to Tuesday's game. Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad decided that Rodriguez should head to the hospital for an MRI around 6:15 p.m. ET.

The three-time MVP seemed committed to keeping a cautious approach with the ailment. It's the first calf injury of his 17-year career.

"There's no question right now we have really good news," he said of the diagnosis. "We don't want to prolong it and make it into a serious situation."

Rodriguez is hitting .265 with 21 homers and an American League-leading 97 RBIs. He was sidelined a lower left leg contusion on August 8 against the Red Sox when Lance Berkman lined a ball off of his left shin in batting practice. He sat out June 11-16 with hip flexor tendinitis.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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