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Hip injury clouds future for Yankees and Alex Rodriguez

TAMPA — The Yankees haven't made a final decision on how to treat 3B Alex Rodriguez's torn labrum in his right hip.

GM Brian Cashman took part in a two-hour conference call Friday that included doctors, team officials, Rodriguez and his agent, Scott Boras.

"We're not there yet to make a decision," Cashman said. "We're making sure everybody understands the benefits and risks."

Cashman said he's pretty confident surgery will eventually be needed. It could come after the season if Rodriguez plays through the injury this year.

"The question is when," said Cashman, who added no surgery is currently scheduled.

Rodriguez did some light swinging and fielded grounders in Colorado, where he is being examined. Afterward, he said he felt better.

The slugger had additional tests on the hip Friday, according to co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner. They were designed to determine strength and flexibility after Wednesday's draining of a cyst in the hip.

Sabathia strong: CC Sabathia allowed an unearned run and two hits over two innings Friday against the Tigers in his first outing. The left-hander, who signed a seven-year, $161 million deal in the offseason, threw 26 pitches, 20 for strikes in the 7-3 victory.

"It felt good to get out there competing," he said. "Just trying to make sure all my pitches were working. … Just getting used to getting out on the mound."

Rivera okay: Closer Mariano Rivera, coming off right shoulder surgery, said he felt fine one day after a bullpen session.

Phillies: Utley might make debut soon

2B Chase Utley's recovery from right hip surgery is nearly complete, and he could play in the next two weeks. He had surgery Nov. 24. At that time, it was estimated he would miss 4-6 months. But Utley worked out at Citizens Bank Park five times a week and continued the pace in Clearwater.

Utley said he doesn't know how many at-bats he'll need to be ready for the regular season but believes he'll be prepared if he returns by mid March.

"Once the adrenaline starts pumping and the regular season starts," he said, "you kind of have that little extra edge on your side."

Park solid: Chan Ho Park, vying for the final spot in the rotation, yielded a run and three hits in four innings in a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays in Dunedin.

"My changeup worked pretty good, especially against left-handers," he said.

Blue Jays: Overbay makes his return

DUNEDIN — 1B Lyle Overbay, in his first game since triple hernia surgery Dec. 31, struck out twice and grounded into a double play. But he also made a diving stop for an out and said he felt no discomfort.

"My timing's good," Overbay said. "But I didn't let loose."

ace strong: Roy Halladay struck out four in three shutout innings against the Phillies.

"My curveball hasn't been great in the last couple of bullpen (sessions)," he said. "So I wanted to throw that more, and it was better. I think location's the big thing right now."

the teams

Blue Jays vs. Reds

1:05 today, Dunedin Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Tickets: Call toll-free 1-888-525-5297 or (727) 733-0429 or online at bluejays.com.

Yankees vs. Braves

1:05 today, George M. Steinbrenner Field,

1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa. Tickets: Call (813) 879-2244 or online at yankees.com.

Phillies vs. Tigers

1:05 today, Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Tickets: Call (727) 467-4457 or online at phillies.com.

Hip injury clouds future for Yankees and Alex Rodriguez 03/06/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 7, 2009 12:21am]
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