A-Rod has slight meniscus tear, surgery possible

A precautionary MRI Friday revealed a slight meniscus tear in the right knee of Alex Rodriguez, who is now faced with the decision of whether or not to undergo surgery.

Manager Joe Girardi said mid-season surgery would likely cost Rodriguez about a month, though the Yankees could choose to play Rodriguez through the injury — as the slugger has done since suffering it nearly three weeks ago — and have him undergo surgery at the end of the year.

Rodriguez first hurt his knee in a June 19 game in Chicago, when he caught the knee as a baserunner at third on a wild pitch in the sixth inning, as he pivoted back to third after thinking of running home. He ended up scoring one pitch later on a Russell Martin sacrifice fly.

Rodriguez has hit .321 since the injury, and his .295 batting average this season is second on the team to Robinson Cano (.297).

But Rodriguez’s power numbers have been down. He has just 13 home runs and 52 RBIs, and is on pace for just more than 24 home runs and 97 RBIs for the season. Only his 23-homer, 84-RBI 1997 campaign with the Mariners would be lower.

Rodriguez, who will not play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Phoenix’s Chase Field, has not homered since June 11. His current 85 at-bat stretch without a home run is the longest single-season streak of his career without a long ball.

Girardi said Rodriguez will not play Saturday or Sunday, regardless of what the team chooses to do about his knee.

Matt Fortuna

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