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Surgery on Yankees' Alex Rodriguez goes as planned, doctor says

TAMPA — Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez had arthroscopic surgery Monday to repair torn cartilage in his right hip, and doctors said they found nothing that would keep him from returning to the lineup in May.

"The surgery went exactly as we planned," said Dr. Marc Philippon, who performed the 80-minute procedure at Vail Valley Surgery Center in Colorado. "No surprises."

Other options considered were a more aggressive surgery that would have sidelined Rodriguez as long as four months or a conservative approach of rest and treatment.

"There is no doubt in our minds that this was the best option," Philippon said. "This was the best option for Alex and the Yankees."

General manager Brian Cashman expects the three-time AL MVP back on the field "sometime in May." Rodriguez will need a more extensive operation after the season, and Philippon said Rodriguez will "absolutely" be ready for spring training in 2010.

Rodriguez was expected to be released from the hospital later Monday and start his rehabilitation.

Phillies: Ailing infielders yet to play

CLEARWATER — The Phillies continue to believe Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz might return in time for opening day.

But first, they have to play in a spring training game.

Feliz, who had surgery on his lower back Nov. 20, could play in a scrimmage Wednesday at the Carpenter Complex. General manager Ruben Amaro told MLB.com that the third baseman first will test himself in a sliding drill.

Utley, who had surgery on his right hip Nov. 24, continues to progress, but Amaro told the Web site that he isn't scheduled to play Wednesday. "Over the next few days, if things go well, hopefully we'll get him into some games," Amaro said of his All-Star second baseman.

MORE INJURIES: RHPs Brad Lidge (forearm tightness) and Chad Durbin (right hamstring) are set to throw in a simulated game Wednesday.

Blue Jays: Second spot suits Hill

TAMPA — 2B Aaron Hill continues to impress Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston with his performance hitting second in the lineup. He went 1-for-3 with a double in Monday's 6-2 win over the Yankees and is batting .333 in seven games.

"I think that's a good spot for him," Gaston said. "He's done well. He can hit the ball the other way. I think he's my guy."

Also, Toronto 1B Lyle Overbay, coming off triple hernia surgery on New Year's Eve, raised his average to .111 by hitting a double in three at-bats.

"He needs to get his timing down. That's all," Gaston said. "We still have a month to go."

The teams

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

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

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

Surgery on Yankees' Alex Rodriguez goes as planned, doctor says 03/09/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 9, 2009 10:32pm]
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