"Just met with my surgeon Dr. [Bryan] Kelly in South Florida and got cleared to move to baseball activities in Tampa,'' A-Rod wrote Thursday. "Really excited to be getting closer to being back on the field.''
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"I have no idea,'' Cashman said. "I'll stick to sometime after the All-Star break.''
Rodriguez had surgery on his left hip Jan. 16, and since then, the Yankees' publicly announced timetable for his return has been after the All-Star break.
But from the time news of the surgery broke at the winter meetings in December, the organization privately has operated under the assumption that A-Rod would be a long shot at best to play at all this season.
For that reason, the Yankees pursued an everyday third baseman in the free-agent market. That resulted in the signing of Kevin Youkilis, who landed on the disabled list earlier this week with a back injury.
When asked if hitting the field for baseball activities means an accelerated schedule for A-Rod's return, Cashman said, "It's never come up. Every conversation [with doctors] is he's exactly where he needs to be. Never hear anything that he's ahead of schedule. Him and [Derek] Jeter both, you're looking at sometime after the All-Star break.''