So, here’s what we know: Alex Rodriguez is hurt. Beyond that, we know nothing. From what I hear, he could be out for anywhere from an hour to seven years. What’s really going on is so elusive that A-Rod’s brother was being used as the definitive source on his injury for the first half of Thursday. One SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE writer is saying that the “mystery” surrounding the injury is reminiscent of Barry Bonds‘ knee troubles in 2005.
Now, instead of surgery that would keep him out for 10 weeks (which was the brother’s story), Brian Cashman is saying that the Yankees are planning on taking a “conservative approach” to the injury, which involves a bunch of rest and rehab with the hopes that surgery won’t be necessary. But how long do you go with that? Cashman admitted that the surgery would probably keep A-Rod out for four months. But if they try this rehab thing for another few weeks, then are stuck with the surgery, suddenly he’s looking at no earlier than mid-to-late August for a return. But, as we all know, if A-Rod’s going to miss four months, it’s much better for all involved that it’s the last four.
NEWSDAY even says that the surgery A-Rod would likely undergo isn’t guaranteed to work:
Dr. Louis Romeo, director of the Joint Replacement Center at Stony Brook University Medical Center, said the surgery to treat an ailment of A-Rod’s type - probably a procedure called a hip arthroscopy - is not the most predictable procedure.
“It’s controversial because the results are not as predictable as you’d like them to be,” said Romeo, who is not involved in the Yankees third baseman’s treatment. “A knee replacement or a hip replacement, you can give someone a 90 percent success rate. Hip arthroscopy, depending on the underlying pathology, may not have as high a success rate.”
(Yeah, I suppose you could go the Bernie Williams route, Alex)
The NCAA tournament bubble is much larger than usual (I mean, Northwestern is now in play, for crap’s sake), which makes every night crucial in college hoops. Last night, Providence took a hit by losing big at Villanova, and Arizona took a big step backward by losing to California at home (the Bears, meanwhile, probably have moved to “lock” status). Tennessee also solidified a likely bid by locking up the SEC East at South Carolina, which suddenly looks vulnerable.
(I’m taking advantage of any excuse to run these pictures of Bruce Pearl)
Sean Avery made his return to ice last night in the Rangers’ win over the Islanders. Fortunately, Mike Comrie was recently traded away from the Islanders so Avery didn’t have a chance to get it any Hilary Duff-related blasts. Avery was actually well-behaved, and it seems as if he may be content to fly under the radar for the rest of the year. Mostly, Avery’s just glad to be back in New York so he can go to the Project Runway finale.
• Ichiro is apparently depressed about the 0-for-16 slump he’s in right now, and uttered this classic line in a REUTERS story about it:
“It’s depressing,” Suzuki told Japanese media on Friday. “After the game I got picked for a doping test — things are going from bad to worse.”
• Now that A-Rod may be out for a while, the Yankees need to find someone to play third base in the interim. Cody Ransom? Angel Berroa? The NEW YORK POST thinks the team might want to consider some outside options. Like Aaron Boone, apparently.
• FANIQ has the pictures from Anna Kournikova’s latest advertising shoot for K-Swiss. Didn’t she used to play a sport? Badminton or something?
• Fuzzy math time! A lawmaker in North Carolina wants to completely ban athletics at schools where more than half of the students score below the 50th percentile on end-of-year tests for two straight years. But, don’t half the students by definition score below the 50th percentile? Isn’t that what “50th percentile” means? And don’t athletes already have minimum standards for playing?
• A dad at the Iowa state 5th-grade girl’s basketball tournament set some sort of record when he got tossed from a game by the ref just 30 seconds into the game, according to the DES MOINES REGISTER. And yes, I have the same question you do: there’s a state tournament for 5th grade girls?
• Remember last year, when Drake was one of the best stories in college basketball and ended up with a 5 seed, but then was heartbroken on a buzzer beater by Western Kentucky? Yeah, they never quite got over that. They lost to Indiana State in the first round of the MVC tournament last night and are likely not headed to the postseason.
• Some good news from COLONIAL HOOPS: It looks like one of the greatest names in the NBA, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, is going to sign with Toronto for the rest of the year. Pops just wrapped up a 10-day contract with the Spurs, after playing for their D-league team most of the year.
• The NBA shot of the night comes from the Nuggets’ J.R. Smith, who nailed a (nearly) half-court shot at the end of the first half against Portland. Unfortunately, it was all a big hoax perpetrated by one of his friends.
• Need more proof that we’re in a recession? The MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL says Miller Park is implementing a $1 menu at their concession stands. You’re only going to get one peanut, but hey, it’s something.
• The University of Alabama has admitted to a number of NCAA violations…regarding the distribution of textbooks. So, athletes get too many textbooks and that’s a problem? Shouldn’t we be thrilled they’re bothering to get any? CBS SPORTSLINE has the horrifying details. Certainly, ‘Bama deserves the death penalty for this.