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A-Rod in possible final rehab game

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez played what could be his final rehab game Thursday, going 0-for-2 with two walks and putting in three innings of defense.

Coming back from March 9 surgery on his right hip, Rodriguez said "not yet" when asked if a decision had been made about rejoining the Yankees for Friday night's game at Baltimore. He said he would be involved in a conference call with team officials about his status later Thursday.

The three-time AL MVP did shake hands and thank support staff at the Yankees' minor league complex for their work after taking extra grounders and batting practice following the intrasquad game.

Rodriguez spent much of the rehab assignment facing questions about a recently released biography that suggests more extensive use of performance-enhancing drugs. But that will probably be overshadowed as he returns to the majors with the suspension of Manny Ramirez on Thursday for a drug violation.

Rodriguez credited Dr. Marc Philippon, who operated on the hip, and Dr. Mark Lindsay, a soft-tissue expert who has worked with him daily in Florida, for the success of his rehab program.

"They have worked [hard] with me," Rodriguez said. "Philippon did a good job with the surgery. I feel blessed."

Also, Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, on the disabled list due to weakness of the abductor muscles in his hips, allowed three hits over five scoreless innings in the extended spring training game. He struck out seven during a 72-pitch outing.

"He was fine," Yankees vice president Billy Connors said. "Good sinker. He's feeling good, too. He's healthy. That's the most important thing."

Wang, who missed the final 3½ months last season with a right foot injury, said he felt better and hopes to return to the Yankees after one or two more minor league outings.