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A-Rod could return next week

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees reacts

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees reacts after the end of the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (July 6, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty

Alex Rodriguez could rejoin the Yankees next week, according to Joe Girardi.

The manager said Rodriguez, who ran the bases for the first time yesterday in Tampa, is “getting pretty close” to playing in a minor-league game on Friday or Saturday.

“Part of it probably depends on when he starts and how he feels in those first couple of games,” Girardi said. “But I think next week is realistic.”

It’s unclear how many rehab games Rodriguez would need to play before he returns, though it could be as few as one. Girardi said it depends on how he feels. “You don’t know if he’s going to have his timing and you don’t know if he’s going to feel stable on his knee running the bases,” he said. “You can’t just throw a random number out there. When he’s ready we’ll have him back, though, I can tell you that.”

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