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A-Rod's Surgeon: 2nd Operation Unlikely

Oct 9, 2009 – 4:07 PM
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Ed Price

Ed Price %BloggerTitle%

Alex Rodriguez New York YankeesNEW YORK -- The surgeon who repaired Alex Rodriguez's right hip in March said A-Rod is now at 95 percent strength, and the Yankees clean-up hitter may not need a follow-up procedure, as originally planned.

Marc J. Philippon of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo., was in New York on Friday for a meeting and stopped by Yankee Stadium to examine his famous patient.

"I need a little more tests," Philippon said, "but so far I don't think he will need surgery."

Instead of doing the full hip-labrum repair -- as others such as Mike Lowell, Chase Utley and Alex Gordon have had -- Philippon did a modified procedure on Rodriguez since it was so close to the start of the season. That was intended to allow A-Rod to come back faster but also left open the possibility of a second operation after the season.

"I just watched him in batting practice," Philippon said of Rodriguez, "and examined him. And clinically, he certainly doesn't need any intervention at this time. It's very difficult to make a formal, definite statement right now.

"His power is excellent and his rotation in his hip is excellent."

Rodriguez, 34, returned to the Yankees lineup on May 8, and, despite playing in just 124 games, hit 30 homers and drove in 100 runs.

But at one point in June, Philippon had to remind the Yankees to rest Rodriguez about once a week. He was the Yankees' DH three times in July and three times in August and then started 40 of the final 46 games at third.

"I have to really thank the Yankees organization," Philippon said, "because that was a very important part of our plan and I have to really respect the organization for fulfilling the plan."

Philippon said Rodriguez was at about 75-80 percent strength when he went in for surgery, is at about 95 percent now and should be 100 percent by spring training.

"What I'm impressed with is his dedication in his rehab after surgery, how focused he was," Philippon said. "And obviously that showed.

"I have to say I'm impressed with his progression. ... I wouldn't say I'm surprised, because you're dealing with a world-class athlete."
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