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FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2010 file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez speaks at a news conference during baseball spring training at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. Major League Baseball has told the union which players it intends to suspend in its drug investigation and which ones will receive lengthier penalties for their roles in the Biogenesis case. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
FILE - In this July 29, 2010 file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez walks back to the dugout after popping out in the fifth inning in a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, in Cleveland. Major League Baseball has told the union which players it intends to suspend in its drug investigation and which ones will receive lengthier penalties for their roles in the Biogenesis case. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File) FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2010 file photo, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) reacts after walking into a post-game press conference after hitting his 600th career home run in the Yankees 5-1 baseball victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium in New York. Major League Baseball has told the union which players it intends to suspend in its drug investigation and which ones will receive lengthier penalties for their roles in the Biogenesis case. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

A-Rod mum as suspension looms


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Alex Rodriguez didn’t stop to talk with reporters after his rehabilitation session at the team’s minor league complex, two days before Major League Baseball is likely to suspend the New York Yankees third baseman for his connection to a clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Coming back from January hip surgery and a late-July strained quadriceps, Rodriguez increased the intensity of his leg workout by taking on-field batting practice and running the bases at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

A-Rod felt tightness in the quad before the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre game on July 20. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he will play in a simulated game Thursday at the minor league complex.

Rodriguez could be sent to Double-A Trenton for a new rehab assignment on Friday. Scranton is on the road.

“Tomorrow’s simulated game is the first step in that process and then I just don’t want to get anything past tomorrow just because of the weather, but the plan would be for him to be in a rehab game on Friday,” Cashman said.

A suspension would prevent Rodriguez from playing in any major or minor league games unless the penalty is stayed.

New York has made the playoffs in 17 of the last 18 seasons but is fourth in the AL East, 8½ games behind division-leading Tampa Bay and 3½ games back of Baltimore for the last wild-card berth.

“You have to walk before you can run, and right now obviously we’re closer to the wild card than the division,” Cashman said. “So I didn’t say we can’t win the division, but right now if somebody says 8½, I’ll say 3½.”

While Rodriguez’s status is uncertain, outfielder Curtis Granderson could rejoin the Yankees for Friday’s series opener at San Diego. Granderson broke an arm in the Yankees’ spring training opener, returned May 14, then broke a pinkie on May 24.

“I think we’re shooting for Friday for an activation on Granderson. Hopefully Alex will be back shortly thereafter,” Cashman said.

He thinks there’s a chance third baseman Kevin Youkilis could return this season from a back injury but doesn’t expect catcher Francisco Cervelli to heal in time from elbow and finger injuries. Cervelli, also tied in media reports to the Biogenesis case, is to be examined Aug. 5 by Dr. James Andrews.

“It’s looking more and more like it’s going to be unrealistic to see Cervelli,” Cashman said.



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