New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is back playing baseball for the first time since undergoing surgery on his left hip four months ago.
Rodriguez joined outfielder Curtis Granderson (broken right forearm), first baseman Mark Teixeira (right wrist), infielder Kevin Youkilis (lumbar spine sprain), and catcher Francisco Cervelli (broken hand) at the Yankee’s minor league complex in Florida.
The 37-year old Rodriguez ran sprints, played catch and hit off a tee on Monday. He is participating in a 30-day rehab schedule setup by his doctors and team officials.
“I’m so excited to be back and have a bat in my hands,” he said. “It’s like being 8 years old again. I hit off a tee, jogged a little bit, threw a little bit. I’m working hard, 24/7, to get back on the field.”
Rodriguez had surgery on Jan. 16 and could return to the Yankee’s lineup after the All-Star break.
“It feels good to be back out in uniform,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been a rough stretch with the rehab, obviously. It’s small bites at a time.”
Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star, is due $114 million over the next five years as part of his $275 million, 10-year contract.
“I have a lot of unfinished business,” said Rodriguez, who struggled offensively in 2012. “I’m really looking forward to getting back on the field close to 100 percent and being who I am.”
He denies all allegations that he purchased human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing drugs over the years.
“I can only control what I can control,” Rodriguez said. “I’m really focusing on all the great things that have happened in the game. I’m really focused on getting healthy, and just getting back and helping the Yankees win a championship.”
Shortstop Derek Jeter is also on the disabled list a broken ankle. He is not expected back until after the All-Star break.
The Yankees (18-12) are in Colorado, getting ready to play a three-game series against the Rockies (18-13) beginning Tuesday.
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