NEW YORK Alex Rodriguez will make his season debut for the New York Yankees on Friday night in Baltimore, joining a team that desperately needs some timely hitting.
The Yankees announced that A-Rod would rejoin the team on Thursday, a few hours after the All-Star third baseman played in his final rehab game in Florida. He went 0 for 2 with two walks and put in three innings of defense, then took some extra ground balls and batting practice.
"We're all very encouraged that he's doing well and we're all anxious to get him back," said manager Joe Girardi, who learned of the decision shortly before the Yankees wrapped up a two-game series against Tampa Bay. "We would have taken him back five weeks ago, if we could."
Rodriguez had surgery March 9 to repair torn cartilage in his right hip, and has recovered more quickly than expected. The Yankees had initially set a target date for his return of May 15.