Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 2/1/13

Alex Rodriguez is confident that reattaching his hip or separating himself from a joint MLB and DEA performance-enhancing drug investigation won't keep him from re-joining the New York Yankees this summer. Despite all the talk that A-Rod's hip surgery is more serious than first reported and the third baseman has been linked to a South Florida PED supplier, he made it clear yesterday that there won't be any early retirement and he isn't going away that easily. "Alex is working diligently on his rehabilitation and looks forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible," a source told The New York Post. Rodriguez underwent surgery on Jan. 16 for a torn labrum and impingement on his left hip. At first, the estimated recovery time was said to be about six months or around the All-Star break. That hurdle seems to be the least of A-Rod's problems ever since he was named as one of the persons being investigated in the MLB probe of reported PED dealer Anthony Bosch. A-Rod won't let all the chatter about his aging hip or a drug suspension end his playing career. Unless he voluntarily hands over the $115 million dollars the Yankees owe him over the next five years, A-Rod will most likely be in pinstripes for a while. "There aren't any facts in yet," another source told The Post about A-Rod's biggest worry — the drug accusations. The Yankees could possibly release A-Rod by proving his hip injury was attributed to illegal PED use but this is an "extreme long shot" another industry source said for three reasons: 1) Nothing has been confirmed yet regarding whether Rodriguez actually purchased and used these drugs, and that may not ever change. 2) It’s not clear whether the language in Rodriguez’s Yankees contract gives the team an out in this area. As a matter of fact, a third source said Rodriguez’s 10-year agreement provides the Yankees no such escape hatch. 3) Dr. Bryan Kelly, the surgeon who performed the recent procedure on Rodriguez, has publicly stated the injury didn’t result from illegal PED usage, and The Post’s Dan Martin spoke with two other medical experts on Wednesday who concurred with that diagnosis. The drama surrounding A-Rod's return or non-return to the Yankees looks like it will be a long-running show. For now, it should be called Stalemate.

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