Speculation over the extent to which Alex Rodriguez's right knee is injured can now end.
Rodriguez will need arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. It will keep him sidelined for four to six weeks. Rodriguez decided to have the surgery after flying to Miami to get a second opinion from Dr. Lee Kaplan, who will perform the surgery today.
Alex Rodriguez remained productive for the last few weeks, but there were subtle signs that something was amiss.
Rodriguez batted .359 in 16 games since June 18, the weekend in Chicago when the right knee issue was initially reported, but his power was lacking. He was in the midst of going 85 straight at-bats without a home run, putting him on a pace for just 24 this season.
“There’s no doubt we’re going to miss him,” manager Joe Girardi said after yesterday’s 1-0 win over the Rays. “But we need to find a way, as I’ve said several times this year, some people are going to have to step up and up to this point, this team has. We certainly look forward to getting a healthy Alex back into our lineup because we know what he adds to this team.”
“I didn’t know he had a torn meniscus,” said CC Sabathia, who pitched through the injury last year. “But you could tell something was wrong with him.”
Rodriguez could return a few weeks after turning 36 on July 27 if the 4-6 week timetable holds. This was the option Girardi preferred because of the upcoming schedule. By doing the procedure now, Rodriguez will miss eight straight games on artificial turf in Toronto and Tampa and sit out during a schedule that features five off days through Aug. 9 and a day-night doubleheader on July 30.
“I don’t feel like we’re losing him,” catcher Russell Martin said. “I just feel like we’re gaining him back later in the season when it counts.”
Rodriguez’s replacement at third base will be Eduardo Nunez. While Nunez has struggled defensively, he performed well filling in for the injured Derek Jeter. He hit .339 (20-for-59) with two home runs and seven RBI in 17 games.
Follow Larry Fleisher on Twitter @larryfleisher.