Alex Rodriguez’s return to the New York Yankees lineup has been stalled because of a setback in his rehab. The team decided to extend his stay on the disabled list because of what they called a Grade 1 quad strain. It appears, though, that A-Rod might not be injured at all.
According to Chief of Orthopedics at Hackensack Medical Center, Dr. Michael Gross, Rodriguez seems ready to play. The doctor looked at Rodriguez’s MRI and was unable to find any sign of an injury.
“I looked at his MRI this morning,” Dr. Gross told Mike Francesa on WFAN. “(Rodriguez) asked me to look at it. I spent about 20 minutes going over it. I look particularly at his quadriceps muscle. To be perfectly honest, I don’t see any sort of injury there. … A Grade 1 strain is a clinical diagnosis, which means you base it on the person’s symptoms and on examining them. It’s not impossible not to see much on an MRI. It’s such a small thing that you might not see it on an MRI. That said, I didn’t see anything.”
Gross also spoke to Rodriguez on Wednesday morning. The third baseman told the doctor that he doesn’t have any pain in his quadriceps and claimed that he feels “100 percent” fit to play.
If there’s nothing physically wrong with Rodriguez, did the Yankees make up the injury to keep him off the field? Rodriguez may be facing an impeding suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. New York could be looking to keep Rodriguez out of pinstripes, until MLB forces him to sit out for the rest of the season.
According to Ryan Rucco of ESPN New York, Rodriguez had a confident reach out to both Francesa and Stephen A. Smith, saying he wants to rejoin the team on Friday and he is not injured. After being held back by the organization, A-Rod and the Yankees are, once again, not on the same page. Last month, New York general manager Brian Cashman scolded Rodriguez through the media for saying he was ready to start his rehab.
Even if the Yankees did put Rodriguez back in the lineup, his stay with the club might be very brief. After Ryan Braun was hit with a 65-game suspension for his involvement with the Biogeneis lab, Rodriguez is expected to be hit with an even bigger punishment. The league office reportedly has even more evidence on Rodriguez than they did with Braun, and Rodriguez could be forced to sit for the rest of this season, as well as a large portion of next year. According to USA Today, the league is looking to suspended the Yankees slugger for at least 100 games.