Surgery for A-Rod, after all

Alex Rodriguez will have arthroscopic hip surgery today and is expected to miss six to nine weeks. The New York Yankees slugger will need further surgery after the season.

The diagnosis by Dr. Marc Philippon yesterday was yet another jolt to Rodriguez during a tumultuous month in which the three-time American League Most Valuable Player admitted using steroids from 2001 to 2003 while with the Texas Rangers.


Philippon spoke from Vail, Colo., on a conference call with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Philippon, a noted hip specialist with the Steadman Hawkins Clinic, will perform the procedure. Also on the call was team physician Chris Ahmad.

Philippon is confident in the "85-90 percent range" that Rodriguez will be able to play through the entire regular season.


"I firmly believe this approach will be successful and allow Alex to return," Philippon said.

The decision eliminates the option of Rodriguez treating the injury with rest and rehabilitation and playing through the season without surgery. This operation will not completely correct the hip. More aggressive surgery would have sidelined Rodriguez three to four months.

United States 15, Venezuela 6: : Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer, Adam Dunn and Ryan Braun added solo shots and the Americans (2-0) powered their way into the second round of the World Baseball Classic by beating Venezuela (1-1) in Toronto. Chris Iannetta and Mark DeRosa each had four RBIs for Team USA, which broke it open with an eight-run sixth inning and finished with 16 hits. Every U.S. starter had at least one hit except for third baseman Chipper Jones, who was lifted in the sixth because of a mild strain on his side. Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora went 1-for-4 with an RBI for Venezuela.

More World Baseball Classic: : Frederich Cepeda hit two of Cuba's tournament-record six homers in an 8-1 victory over South Africa in Mexico City. The previous home run record for the WBC was four, achieved by the Dominican Republic against Venezuela in the inaugural tournament in 2006. ... Olympic champion South Korea has advanced to the second round with a seven-inning, 14-0 rout of China in Tokyo. The South Koreans put the game away with five runs in the fifth inning and another five in the sixth. China was eliminated.

Angels: : All-Star pitcher Ervin Santana has been diagnosed with a sprained ligament in his throwing elbow and will open the season on the disabled list. Santana, who was 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA last season, will he held out from throwing indefinitely.

Red Sox: : Left-hander Jon Lester agreed to a five-year, $30 million contract extension, which includes a $13 million team option for 2014, reported. Lester was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma during his rookie season in 2006. After being declared cancer-free later that year, he went on to earn the World Series title-clinching victory over the Rockies in 2007. He went 16-6 with a 3.21 ERA in 33 starts last season.

Brewers: : Reliever Eric Gagne was released so he can rehab his sore shoulder.