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A-Rod needs surgery on left hip, injury during playoffs required hospital stay

Alex Rodriguez (Getty Images)Alex Rodriguez will likely miss opening day for the New York Yankees, but it won't be because of a lineup decision by Joe Girardi.

As first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, A-Rod needs surgery on his left hip this offseason and will miss at least "a piece" of next season, leaving the left side of the Yankees infield rather thin as Derek Jeter rehabs from a broken ankle.

Sherman reports the recovery time after January's surgery will take anywhere from three to six months and that the Yankees hope A-Rod is back by June.

Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that A-Rod's injury occurred during the postseason and that he was experiencing pain so severe that he spent a night in the emergency room following one of the ALDS games. That certainly sheds a new light on Girardi's decisions to bench Rodriguez as the Yankees stumbled to another World Series-less finish.  (It should also get A-Rod a lot of Jeter-like praise for trying to play through the pain, though we won't hold our breath.)

[Related: Alex Rodriguez's injury reveals fragile state of Yankees' roster]

Rodriguez has already had surgery on his right hip. That was back in March 2009 and while he didn't make his debut until May 8, he responded by posting a .933 OPS with 30 homers and 100 RBIs while putting together a stellar postseason for New York's last World Series title team. Perhaps this tuneup will help A-Rod get back on track after a disappointing 2012 and maybe a shortened season will keep him fresh for the pennant chase and postseason. But he'll also be turning 38 during the middle of the season and there are no guarantees for a player that old. His age makes it harder to put an optimistic spin on this news, anyway.

For those of us who were wondering why A-Rod and the Yankees would wait until January for surgery after an October injury, Rosenthal reports that A-Rod needed to "pre-hab" the injury first.

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