A-Rod's stint in rehab going well, may rejoin Yanks late next week

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez is making progress in his rehab from a strained right quadriceps, and the third baseman could rejoin New York Yankees late next week.

"So far, so good," Rodriguez said Saturday.

The news comes at a critical time for the injury-riddled Yankees, who placed utility infielder Wilson Betemit on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a sore right hamstring.

New York also learned right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo will not
need surgery to mend a sore right elbow. The reliever left Friday's
6-5 loss to the Tigers after throwing 2 1-3 innings.

Three-time AL MVP Rodriguez is scheduled for an MRI on Monday and is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Thursday.

"I don't want to speculate," Rodriguez said when asked if could return then.

If he gets the go-ahead after his MRI he could be cleared to start playing rehab games in extended spring training.

On Saturday, Rodriguez took 65 swings in batting practice and fielded 31 grounders at third base during his second injury rehabilitation workout at the Yankees' minor league complex. He is also running in the outfield.

Betemit, one of two infielders sharing time at third since
Rodriguez went on the disabled list April 30, left New York's 5-2
win over Detroit after tweaking his right hamstring while running
to second base. Morgan Ensberg took his place in the lineup.

Manager Joe Girardi said the club will place Betemit on the
15-day disabled list and recall infielder Alberto Gonzalez from
Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Gonzalez was just sent down on Tuesday when Betemit was
activated from the DL after being sidelined with corneal
conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the eye.

Gonzalez, a utility infielder, is batting .269 in 11 games with
the Yankees. Girardi did not specify where Gonzalez would play when
he joins the big league team.

"You don't want to go too long with just one [backup]
infielder," Girardi said.

Also on Saturday, catcher Jorge Posada took batting practice for the second time since going on the DL with right rotator cuff tendinitis. The switch-hitter remains on target to start a light throwing program Monday.

"It's coming around good," said Posada, who is expected to be out at least another month.

Right-hander Jeff Karstens, sidelined since straining his right groin March 27, allowed one run -- on a homer -- and two hits over three innings in his first extended spring training start. The front-runner for the long man role out of the bullpen before getting hurt in his last scheduled spring training appearance, Karstens struck out three, walked one and hit a batter.