- Alex Rodriguez hires doctor who says he is healthy enough to play
- Yankees GM says team's MRI shows A-Rod has a "grade 1 strain"
- Meanwhile, MLB may suspend Rodriguez over drug accusations
Alex Rodriguez is taking his quest to get back on the diamond into his own hands.
A representative for Rodriguez said he got a second opinion on a recent quadriceps injury, and the doctor who analyzed the MRI says Rodriguez is healthy enough to return to the field. Michael Gross of The Sports Medicine Institute at Hackensack University, who was hired by Rodriguez, says he does not see an injury.
On Wednesday evening, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said he heard through media reports that Gross had not examined Rodriguez and said it is the Yankees' desire to have Rodriguez return to the lineup as soon as possible.
In a written statement, Cashman said, "As early as Friday, July 12, when I suggested to Alex that we move his rehab from Tampa to Triple-A Scranton (at Buffalo), Alex complained for the first time of 'tightness' in his quad and therefore refused to consent to the transfer of his assignment. Again, last Sunday, Alex advised that he had stiffness in his quad and should not play on Sunday or Monday. We sent Alex to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI which evidenced a grade 1 strain."
Cashman said the Yankees will re-evaluate Rodriguez in Tampa on Thursday. Rodriguez has said he hoped that after hip surgery in January he would be able to resume playing for the Yankees on July 22, after he completed a rehabilitation stint in the minors. But the Yankees physician diagnosed a strained quadriceps this week based on an MRI. Rodriguez could be sidelined for at least a week and could be ordered to start a new 20-day rehabilitation.
On Thursday, Rodriguez released a statement calling the back-and-forth "crossed signals."
"I think the Yanks and I crossed signals. I don't want any more mix ups. I'm excited and ready to play and help this team win a championship," the statement said. "I feel great and I'm ready and want to be in the lineup Friday night. Enough doctors, let's play."
Rodriguez gave Gross permission to speak to the media. Gross said he can't be sure Rodriguez doesn't have an injury but said he didn't see anything on the MRI. A source close to Rodriguez told CNN that Rodriguez believes the Yankees are trying to find a way to release him and not pay the $114 million they owe on his contract.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez, who has been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, awaits word from Major League Baseball as to whether he will be suspended from the sport and, if so, for how long.
Some media reports have said the punishment could be enough to end his career. Rodriguez turns 38 on Saturday and is still owed $28 million this year. He reported to the Yankees' spring training facility in Tampa on Wednesday and, according to sources, he believes he is healthy enough to get back to work.