Knee improving: A-Rod could be ready for return to Yanks Thursday
Tampa, FL, United States (AHN Sports) – In the midst of the dog days of summer, the New York Yankees will soon get a boost.
The Yankees, who are a 1/2 game behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East, expect to have superstar third baseman Alex Rodriguez back by next weekend.
A-Rod finished his stay in the Florida sun Sunday with a simulated game in which he faced three different pitchers and fielded ground balls at the Yankees’ Minor League complex. He is rehabbing from a surgically repaired right knee.
Rodriguez went 2-for-6 with a homer in two games with Tampa.
“It’s another good day in the books,” Rodriguez told ESPN. “I’m happy with the work I’ve done and I’m looking forward to the next step.”
The slugger is scheduled to play two games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday and Wednesday, and could re-join his major league teammates as early as Thursday.
“The timetable is still the same,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the Yankees were rained out of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Rays. “He’ll return sometime in Minnesota. I can’t tell you Thursday [with certainty], but I expect to see him sometime in Minnesota.”
According to the ESPN report, Rodriguez had five hard-hit balls during Sunday’s simulated action that would have probably resulted in him reaching base in a game, including two hits that hit the wall in right-center. Of his 13 simulated at-bats, he also struck out three times, two of which came on called third strikes.
After two of his hits, Rodriguez ran to second base at half-speed. He also ran to first after each of the three batting sessions.
During his runs to first and second, Rodriguez was tentative in his approach, similar to how he ran in the games in Dunedin on Friday and Saturday.
“Just don’t want any setbacks,” Rodriguez said. “It’s just about taking one step at a time.”