While Alex Rodriguez was initially expected to return to the lineup in mid-July, the New York Yankees are already bracing themselves to be without the third baseman for the entire 2013 season. According to CBS New York, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman acknowledged the very real possibility when asked on Friday.
"Yeah," Cashman said. "I think because [of] the serious nature of the surgery and the condition that he’s trying to recover from, you know, there is that chance."
The 37-year-old Rodriguez underwent surgery on his left hip Jan. 16—an arthroscopic procedure designed to fix a torn labrum and impingement on the slugger's ailing hip. The surgery was successful, per the New York Daily News, and recovery is currently expected to take around six months, leaving a return around the trade deadline a very real possibility.
However, Cashman's acknowledgment that Rodriguez could be out longer is undoubtedly a worrisome sign of the injury's nature.
Though it's unclear when Rodriguez's hip first started to act up, many have hypothesized that this injury was the root cause of his struggles in 2012. Once the most feared slugger in Major League Baseball, Rodriguez trudged his way through a thoroughly mediocre campaign, hitting just .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI for the American League East champions.
Rodriguez's lack of pop reared its head in the postseason. Oft-criticized for his deficiencies in September and October, Rodriguez hit a paltry .120 and failed to drive in a single run in 2012's playoffs. He was even benched by manager Joe Girardi for the last two games of the ALCS.
With word of his hip injury coming out after the season, it's understandable to wonder whether or not Rodriguez will ever return to peak form. He's had hip problems dating back to at least 2009, and he's not exactly what you would call a youngster anymore.
As the Yankees look into an ominous 2013, when the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles all look to be on the precipice of starting a new era in the AL East, it's critical that Girardi's club has all hands on deck.
If Cashman's quote on Friday is any indication, this hip injury may lead to a long season for both Rodriguez and the Yankees in 2013.