Joel Sherman has an exclusive in today's Post with Dr. Bryan Kelly, the doctor who will be performing Alex Rodriguez's hip surgery (hopefully) this month. The main takeaway: A-Rod's left hip is a total mess, and is absolutely the reason that he was so dreadful in the postseason this past season. “I was more surprised that he was able to play at all with a hip that looked like that,” Kelly told the Post. “Most people would not be able to play with a hip function like this and the imaging that looked like his.”
Alex has officially been diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left hip and an underlying impingement, and according to Kelly is still 2-4 weeks away from an operation. That's because the doctors want to treat the inflammation around the injured hip and begin building strength in the leg in order to make the rehab process easier for A-Rod, making a successful comeback more likely. Kelly estimates that Alex should be able to return "just after the All-Star break," but the story also notes that that's a preliminary estimate that's subject to change based on factors such as A-Rod's age and the pace at which he rehabs, and that the doctors won't even know the full extent of the damage in the hip until they open it up. Kelly says a full recovery and a return to productivity is possible but, well, we've heard that before.
The bad news is that Kelly believes that the injury has been there for some time, and that Alex has been compensating for it by using other muscles. Kelly says that, because Alex was not necessarily experiencing full on pain in past years and because hip injuries like this are a result of wear and tear, it's not particularly unusual for something like this to go undiagnosed. There are also concerns that A-Rod's surgically repaired right hip may have incurred damage as a result of compensating for this injury, which will slow the rehab process to a slower rate than Alex was able to maintain back in 2009.
Kelly did say that past steroid use would have had nothing to do with this injury though, so we at least shouldn't have to deal with any more of that talk.