As A-Rod and the Yankees attempt to figure out how best to approach the third baseman’s torn labrum, Michael S. Schmidt introduces a hybrid approach to the treatment options. The Times scribe writes:
According to a person in baseball familiar with the deliberations, the Yankees, Rodriguez and his doctors have discussed a limited operation before the season to repair the labrum without fixing the underlying condition. Other options for treating Rodriguez are allowing him to play with the injury this season or sidelining him for four months with surgery to correct the problem.
The limited surgery would probably sideline Rodriguez at least four weeks and may allow him to play most of the season. But he would still need a more involved procedure at a later time to fix what caused the tear.
“It would be like using a nail instead of a steel girder to repair it,” said the person, who did not want to be identified because the conversations were confidential. “Eventually, the nail would have to be replaced with the steel girder.”
At best, the person said, this so-called hybrid option would allow Rodriguez to play for one to three years before undergoing more invasive surgery to correct the problem.
To me, this sounds like the best option. A-Rod would be able to fix this problem in the short term. He could play out most of the 2009 season — rehab would bring him back before the end of April — and then get this problem fixed after October. If this option is on the table, I think the Yanks should jump at it.
Meanwhile, if I’m the Yankee front office though, I’m a little wary of the long-term implications of this approach. As long as two surgeries in short order can fix A-Rod’s problem, there is nothing to worry about. Otherwise, the Yanks will have to guard A-Rod’s hip carefully between now and 2017.
Update by Mike (10:45am): According to PeteAbe, A-Rod will have the less invasive surgery on Monday, then have the full blown surgery after the season. Recovery time is 6-9 weeks, so a late April return is possible. Like Ben said, this seems like the best option.