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Rodriguez could swing a bat as a range-of-motion drill as soon as seven days after surgery.
"It's better news than some of the reports. It's good for him. He can get that out of the way and hopefully get back to us soon," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said at the WBC in Toronto. "We can't sit around and wait for him to come back. You've got to go out there and play. That's what good teams are about. It's more than one person."
On Thursday, Rodriguez's brother, Joe Dunand, told ESPNdeportes.com that the slugger was going to have surgery, with a projected 10-week recovery. But later that day Cashman said A-Rod would be treated conservatively in the hope of avoiding surgery.
Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, speaking from Lakeland, where New York played the Detroit Tigers, said Rodriguez was doing the "right thing" in addressing the injury now.
"I think it's better to get it out of the way, especially since he's going to be in New York for eight more years after this year. So you might as well take care of it," Damon said.
The leading candidate within the organization to take over at third is Cody Ransom, a 33-year-old who has a .251 average and 24 RBIs in 183 at-bats over six major league seasons.
Since joining the Yankees before the 2004 season, Rodriguez has averaged 42 homers and 123 RBIs, with a .303 average.
Girardi said if the season started today, Ransom would replace Rodriguez at third.
"It's going to create something different for us, so we're going to have to take a look at some of these other guys," Girardi said. "There's still four weeks left in camp, and it opens up an opportunity for someone."
Last year, Rodriguez was sidelined from April 28 to May 20 because of a strained right quadriceps -- his fifth career trip to the disabled list. An MRI exam at that time showed what Cashman called an "irregularity" in the right hip.
The labrum is cartilage that lines the hip joint. It can be torn through injury or repetitive wear and tear. When arthroscopic surgery is recommended, the doctor makes small incisions to insert specialized instruments into the joint space and either removes the torn piece of labrum or repairs the cartilage with a suture.
Dr. Kevin Plancher, a top orthopedic and sports medicine specialist in New York who trained and worked at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic, said hip conditions such as A-Rod's are common in sports but are probably most prevalent among hockey players.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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