Q&A: Dr. Michael Gross on A-Rod's MRI

I had a chance to speak with Dr. Michael Gross, the orthopedic surgeon from Hackensack University Medical Center who said Wednesday that he looked at Alex Rodriguez's quad MRI, helping fuel the latest battle between the Yankees and A-Rod.

How did it come about that you looked at the MRI?

Listen to Dr. Gross' interview on 98.7 FM:

PlayWe have a mutual colleague who is a physical therapist. He got in touch with me and said A-Rod would like someone to look at his MRI and give an opinion. I explained it is a little unusual to just look at an MRI without actually examining the patient -- and I'm not a radiologist -- but I'd be happy to look at the MRI. So I did and I spoke to him and I didn't see anything that was that significant. There is a spot where there is supposed to be an injury, and I don't see anything that abnormal to me.

I spoke with Alex on the phone, and I asked him if he has any pain and he said, "I don't." I said, "Do you have an injury?" And he said, "I don't." He said, "Would you be willing to say I'm ready to play?" I said, "No, I'm not willing to say that. I've never examined you. I've looked at your MRI." But I asked him if you think you are ready to play and he said, "Yes."

So Alex said, "I want you to do these interviews?"

I asked him specifically, "If I get asked by people, are you comfortable with me giving my opinion," and he said, "Yes."

I'll be very honest. Before I even gave anyone my opinion, before I saw what was on the MRI, I didn't want to hear any chatter because I didn't want to be biased by what I thought they wanted me to say. I just wanted to say, "This is what I saw." I was interested, and I'm not interested in any political [things]. Obviously, there is a lot of controversy around it on Alex Rodriguez on a million different plains. I don't want to get involved in any of it. My only involvement is as a doctor. I looked at his MRI, and I said, "I don't see much."

You don't see much, or you didn't see anything?

I don't see a significant injury.

You might see a little bit? I'm not trying to parse your words, I'm just asking.

There is always room for interpretation. Do I see abnormalities that may or may not be related to anything? That's why you want to examine a patient and say, "Does this hurt here? Does this hurt here?"

Where I'm told he has an injury, I don't see anything significant. Does that make sense? I'm not trying to be difficult.

Have you talked with [Yankees team doctor Chris] Ahmad yet?


Do you plan to?

No one asked me to.

I think he is planning on talking to you from what we understand.

OK. By the way, to be perfectly honest, I'm in no way trying to contradict him. I don't know him personally, but I know he has a great reputation. People get second opinions all the time. I looked at an MRI. I didn't see what he saw. I'm not saying it is not there; I just didn't see it.

But it is going to look like that.

I do get that, but that is why I'm saying it. If you want to quote me on that, that's fine.

This is how it is going to appear and play out publicly.

A-Rod found a doctor that is willing to say this publicly.

They asked me to look at an MRI, and I looked at it. Nothing more than that.