Though the New York Yankees appear to hope otherwise, Alex Rodriguez intends to recover from his latest hip surgery, resume his career and play out the remaining five years of his contract, sources said Thursday.
Rodriguez, along with several other major-league players, was accused this week of receiving performance-enhancing drugs from a Miami-area anti-aging clinic. The report led to speculation the Yankees would seek to cut ties with Rodriguez through a contract settlement or that Rodriguez, wounded in body and reputation, would simply retire.
One source close to Rodriguez said, "Alex is working diligently on his rehabilitation and looks forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible."
Barring setbacks, Rodriguez could be ready to play by mid-summer. Dr. Bryan Kelly, who performed surgery to repair a torn labrum and an impingement in Rodriguez's left hip on Jan. 16, told the Yankees he found minimal cartilage damage in the hip, according to the New York Daily News.
Rodriguez has denied using the banned substances outlined in the Miami New Times report – HGH and synthetic testosterone among them, and further claimed he was not a patient of clinic director Tony Bosch.
Major League Baseball is investigating the relationships between Bosch and players listed in a series of notebooks allegedly kept by Bosch. Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland A's pitcher Bartolo Colon, San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal and Rodriguez were most prominently mentioned.
Rodriguez has not yet been contacted by MLB, according to a source. He also has not heard from Yankees management since the report broke Tuesday.
Assuming his hip heals as planned, another source said Thursday, Rodriguez will not retire, has no interest in a discounted buyout on the $114 million he is owed over the next five years and, if it came to it, likely would not approve a trade away from the Yankees.
While he could face a 50-game suspension if MLB determines the recent reports are accurate, Rodriguez has told friends he will return to the Yankees, and that he will not leave the game under these circumstances.
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