Yankees

A-Rod Upbeat As He Nears Return To Yankees

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees in action against the Colorado Rockies during their game on June 26, 2011 at Yankee Stadium (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images).

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was upbeat after running the bases for the first time, a key step in his rehab program after right knee surgery.

He ran from first to second and first to third four times each during his workout on Tuesday. Base running is usually the final step before an injured position player starts in minor league games.

“It’s all good stuff,” Rodriguez said.

The Yankees expect him to return in mid-August.

The session Tuesday was moved from the Yankees’ minor league complex to their spring training site at George Steinbrenner Field for the second straight day because of rain.

Rodriguez hit off a tee and did a soft-toss session in an indoor cage. A break in the weather allowed the ground crew to take the tarp off the field so Rodriguez could run and field grounders. He ook 57 swings in batting practice indoors when the rain returned.

Rodriguez is hitting .295 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs. He had surgery on the right knee July 14.

Also, left-hander Pedro Feliciano, who hasn’t pitched this season because of a tear in his left shoulder, threw 42 pitches off a mound in a cage and is scheduled for batting practice on Friday.

Backup infielder Ramiro Pena, who had an appendectomy on July 18, has resumed swinging a bat.

Reliever Damaso Marte, coming back from left shoulder surgery, had a 32-pitch mound session. Converter reliever Mark Prior, out because of a groin strain and back soreness, pitched in a rookie-level Gulf Coast League game.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)