Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez expects to return to the...

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez expects to return to the lineup on Wednesday. (June 12, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez is in the clear.

At least, it appears, for Wednesday night.

And then the third baseman, who sat out the three-game series against Houston over the weekend with tendinitis in his hip flexor, will go from there.

"That's the plan," A-Rod said before last night's game against the Phillies.

Before the game, Rodriguez ran on the field, took grounders, played long toss and hit indoors - off live pitching and the tee.

"I felt OK, no setbacks," Rodriguez said. "Everything feels OK. I'm just going to finish the last part of my treatment today. Yesterday, I had a good day and today was also a good day."

Rodriguez, who said he could be available to pinch hit last night, reiterated that the condition is unrelated to the surgery he had on his hip last spring. Rodriguez said that message was relayed loud and clear from the surgeon who performed the surgery, Dr. Marc Philippon, who has spoken several times to Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad.

"The pictures [of the hip] came out as good as ever, so that's the good sign," Rodriguez said. "Dr. Philippon assured me the pictures were as clean as they possibly could be. There's no need to worry about a second surgery or any of that."

Rodriguez, who will turn 35 next month, said he has never had a hip flexor issue before and doesn't believe it is the inevitable breaking down of the body for an older player.

"I really don't think age has anything to do with it," A-Rod said, "because I feel pretty darn good. I was swinging the bat really well and unfortunately had this issue."

There has been a lot of focus on his power numbers - he has only eight homers - but his season has been far from a disaster. Rodriguez is hitting .290 with a .361 on-base percentage and has 43 RBIs, the second-highest total on the team.

Speaking directly to his home run total, Rodriguez smiled.

"The year's not over yet," he said.

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