When word got out in March that Alex Rodriguez had a torn labrum in his right hip, it was just another pile-on moment in a forgettable offseason for the beleaguered star. Rumor had it that he could miss most of the 2009 season as he rehabbed from surgery, and of course all the “he’ll never be the same” talk got started. Then came the news that an alternative, hybrid procedure could be performed to minimize the recovery time and get the Yanks’ cleanup hitter back in the lineup sooner rather than later.
This hybrid procedure came with the caveat that Alex would eventually have to undergo the more extensive surgery this coming offseason, and everybody was pretty much fine with that because Alex would be back sooner. They were also watching Chase Utley OPS over 1.000 early in the season after he had the same procedure last winter. As it turns out, A-Rod might not need that second surgery after all. To quote Bryan Hoch’s report:
“I don’t want to jinx us, but there is a very good chance we can use conservative treatment,” Dr. Marc Philippon told the New York Post. “We will take our time and look at all the variables, but I am very optimistic and happy.”
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Rodriguez, who has benefited from regularly scheduled days off this season, told The Post on Monday that it was “80 percent no; 20 percent yes” that he’d need offseason surgery.
Obviously, avoiding surgery is the preferable path. You don’t just cut into a world class athlete, especially a major joint of a super expensive athlete, unless you really have to. Yeah, it stinks that he needs more rest now than he did before, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s been hitting like his old self for over two months now (.310-.423-.548 since the end of June), and his defense – which has certainly declined post-hip injury – is tolerable. If the options going forward are a) have the second surgery and hope it heals well, and if not who knows what, or b) not have the second surgery and give him some extra rest every week or two, I’d take the latter every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
After all that we’ve witnessed and all that he’s been through in his five plus years in pinstripes, it’s almost hard to believe that something like this could actually be going A-Rod’s way. I’m certain Dr. Phillippon and the team will do whatever is in the best interest of Alex Rodriguez now and his career going forward, and if that doesn’t require another surgery, then fantastic.