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Thursday, May 2, 2013
A-Rod cleared for baseball activity

By Andrew Marchand
ESPNNewYork.com

Alex Rodriguez has no restrictions on running and is ready to begin baseball activities next week as he tries to come back from offseason hip surgery.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he expects Rodriguez to report to Tampa, Fla., on Monday. Cashman said Rodriguez has not accelerated his return to the majors, and the earliest he could be on the field for the Yankees would be after the All-Star break.

"They are now working out a baseball protocol for him," Cashman said. "Every conversation we have had with the physical therapist is that he is exactly where he needs to be. He is on time. He is working hard. I've never heard anything about he is ahead of schedule."

The Yankees placed reliever Joba Chamberlain on the disabled list Thursday, but Cashman reported progress for other injured Yankees.

Mark Teixeira, who has yet to play this season because of a wrist injury, has started to hit off a tee and will return to train in Tampa on Monday.

Curtis Granderson, who has a broken forearm, is playing in extended spring games in Tampa and could be a week or two away from returning to the majors.

"We are getting ready to hit the extended spring program with some championship-caliber rings," Cashman said. "They are going to have some pretty good players."

Michael Pineda, who missed all of last season after shoulder surgery, pitched Thursday, reaching as fast as 95 mph, Cashman said.

"So he had a good physical day," Cashman said.

Rodriguez, who turns 38 in July, is being investigated by Major League Baseball for his connections to Biogenesis, the Miami-area anti-aging clinic linked to performance-enhancing drugs. He has denied all involvement.

Rodriguez's replacement, Kevin Youkilis, is currently on the disabled list with a sore back. Jayson Nix is the Yankees' current third baseman and is being backed up by Chris Nelson, whom the Yankees acquired Wednesday night from the Colorado Rockies.

Derek Jeter, coming back from a fractured ankle, is expected in Tampa soon as well. Jeter is still in his walking boot and will not return to the Yankees until after the All-Star break at the earliest.