Alex Rodriguez has finally hit the field nearly four months since having hip surgery on January 16. On Monday he joined several injured New York Yankees teammates for a workout at the team’s minor league complex in Tampa, Florida.
The 37-year-old third baseman hit off a tee, ran and played catch. While that doesn’t seem significant, the fact that he actually got back on a field and went through any kind of baseball activity at all is a big deal for his recovery.
When asked about the workout, Rodriguez said it was, “like being an eight years old again when I first grabbed a bat.” He said it was also “pretty exciting” and that he was “really looking forward to getting back.”
The Yankees are hoping A-Rod can come back by the All-Star break, but the 14-time All-Star won’t guarantee a return to the team this season.
Without several key players, the Yankees have managed to play well and are off to an 18-12 record to open the season. They’re a game and a half behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.
Still, getting shortstop Derek Jeter and Rodriguez back will be a big boost to the offense.
A-Rod has battled injuries over the past two seasons. In 2012 he played in just 122 games after playing in 99 during the 2011 season. Last year, Rodriguez hit .272, with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs. His OPS was a pedestrian .783. He’s due to earn $29 million in 2013.