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Canadian doctor says he treated Yankees star Alex Rodriguez but never gave him HGH

TORONTO — A sports doctor at the center of drug investigations in Canada and the United States said Monday that he treated Alex Rodriguez after the Yankees slugger had hip surgery last year and prescribed anti-inflammatories but not human growth hormone.

Dr. Anthony Galea also told the Associated Press that an assistant who was stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border in Buffalo, N.Y., last year was carrying only a minuscule amount of HGH, which Galea said was for his own use. The doctor reiterated that he has never given the drug to an athlete.

"I only brought enough for her to do two injections into me because I was away for two nights," Galea said.

New factor: RHP Alfredo Aceves may be joining the battle for the No.  5 rotation spot. Aceves, 27, pitched four perfect innings in a 6-0 victory over the Pirates in a split-squad game. In two outings, both against Pittsburgh, he has retired all 18 batters he has faced.

BACK ON TRACK: DH Nick Johnson played in his first game and went 0-for-2 with a walk in a 7-5 split-squad win over the Phillies. He had been out since Thursday, when he tweaked his back.

MO THROWS: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, 40, threw 34 pitches during his first batting practice session.

Phils: Reliever likely to miss opener

CLEARWATER — Phillies LH reliever J.C. Romero, who is recovering from offseason elbow surgery, does not expect to be ready by opening day.

Romero told MLB.com that he won't be able to throw to hitters until March 22, which wouldn't give him enough time to be ready by the April 5 opener in Washington. He said he should be able to return for the first home series April 12-15 against the Nationals.

MAKING HIS MOVE: Competing for the No. 5 spot in the rotation with LHP Jamie Moyer, RHP Kyle Kendrick held the Yankees to one hit over three innings, mixing a tricky cutter with his sinker.

Jays: Young lefty expected to step up

KISSIMMEE — Toronto manager Cito Gaston thinks LHP Ricky Romero is a much improved pitcher now that he has some experience.

Romero, 25, pitched three shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out two in a 4-1 win over the Astros.

Rivera went 13-9 in 29 starts as a rookie. With RHP Roy Halladay traded to Philadelphia, a more mature Romero could be the No. 1 starter.

"It doesn't matter who you are, you're going to be a little bit nervous when you're pitching in the big leagues for the first time, or playing or going up to this," Gaston said. "Now he's got some experience behind him. He's been successful, and he just gets better all the time."

Canadian doctor says he treated Yankees star Alex Rodriguez but never gave him HGH 03/08/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 8, 2010 11:00pm]
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