TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is set to play Tuesday night in his first minor league game on a rehabilitation assignment.
Rodriguez said he felt fine and was eager to get going.
“Awesome,” he said Monday at the Yankees’ spring training complex. “I’m really excited.”
Rodriguez said he didn’t have a timetable for rejoining the Yankees. He was on a conference call with team officials earlier in the day.
“I have no idea,” he said.
“It’s all been very positive. We’re all looking in the same direction … get back to New York as soon as possible and tomorrow is the first big step,” he said. “We’ve talked to all our doctors. Everyone has approved it.”
The Yankees said Rodriguez was scheduled to start for Single-A Charleston in the South Atlantic League. Rodriguez was supposed to play at least three innings against Rome during the game in South Carolina.
“It will be the first game that I play in, in maybe over eight months. It’s been a long time. It’s going to be great to suit up again. It gets me one step closer to helping my team win in New York,” he said.
Rodriguez has been working out in Florida this year while recovering from surgery on his left hip on Jan. 16. The three-time AL MVP turns 38 later this month.
Many rehabbing Yankees play for the minor league team in Tampa, but lately the weather has been rainy. The inclement forecast prompted the Yankees to have Rodriguez start with Charleston.
Rodriguez wasn’t sure how long he’d be with Charleston.
“Two things — we’re working with the scheduling, where all these teams are at. There’s rain all over the East Coast. So, we’re just going to try and run away, try to find some good sunshine.”
“It has to do more with the weather. In an ideal world, we would always play at home because we can do more work, but if the weather is bad, we have may to jump over at X, Y or Z depending where the sunshine is,” he said.
Rodriguez walked out of the camp carrying an equipment bag while a clubhouse assistant brought a box of bats. They put them in Rodriguez’s car, and he signed several autographs before driving off.
Rodriguez has 647 career home runs. The Yankees have struggled this season while Rodriguez and several other stars have been on the disabled list.
NOTES: SS Derek Jeter (ankle) ran the bases for the first time during his recent recovery. … OF Curtis Granderson (broken finger) put on a glove and caught easy flyballs.
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