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A-Rod will try to play with injury

Alex Rodriguez will attempt to play this season with an injured right hip, hoping to avoid surgery and a four- month rehabilitation period.

A cyst in the hip was drained Wednesday, and the New York Yankees third baseman will skip playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

Still, he has a torn labrum that might need an operation.

“There’s two courses of action concerning what he has,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday. “There is treat it conservatively, which would imply rest, exercise and treatment. Or you can treat it aggressively, which is by surgery. At this point in time, we are going to go the conservative route.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi is concerned Rodriguez could start the regular season and then have to be shut down.

“It’s not something you necessarily want to think about,” Girardi said.

“You watch him closely to make sure there is nothing wrong, and I know Alex will be honest with his body.”


Lasorda says God on our side

Tommy Lasorda did his best to whip up fervor for the U.S. team.

“We cannot allow those clubs to beat us. It’s our game,” the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager said Thursday.

“Remember one thing: In your hearts, you better pull for the USA or you may not get into heaven.”

Lasorda made his pitch from the observation deck of the Empire State Building, which will be bathed in the red, green, blue and yellow colors of the World Baseball Classic. He was vehement about the need for the United States to win the tournament, which opened with Japan defeating China 4-0 in Tokyo.

“It’s our game. Baseball is America’s game. It doesn’t belong to the Italians or the Cubans or the Koreans or the Japanese,” he said. “It’s our game, and we’re not going to let them beat us.”

The 81-year-old Lasorda, who managed the U.S. team to the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, was unhappy with the U.S. performance at the first World Baseball Classic in 2006. The Americans were eliminated in the second round.


Hall of Famer McAfee dies

George McAfee, a college and pro football Hall of Famer who was a star for the NFL’s Chicago Bears and at Duke, has died at Durham, N.C. He was 90.

In eight seasons with Chicago, McAfee gained more than 5,000 all-purpose yards and had 21 interceptions. His 35-yard interception return for a touchdown helped Chicago to a 73-0 victory over the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL championship.

McAfee helped the Blue Devils to two Southern Conference titles.

Associated Press Associated Press Associated Press