NEW YORK, Dec 3 (Reuters) - New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will likely miss the start of the 2013 Major League Baseball (MLB) season because of hip surgery, the team said on Monday.
The 37-year-old Rodriguez, MLB's active home runs leader, must complete a four-to-six week pre-rehabilitation regimen before having a left hip arthroscopy in January that will require four to six months of recovery, the Yankees said in a statement.
That means the 14-times All-Star and three-time American League Most Valuable Player, who was benched in the playoffs after struggling at the plate, will likely miss at least the start of the Yankees' season set to begin on April 1.
Doctors believe there is a strong possibility that the hip condition might have had a negative effect on Rodriguez's playoff performance, according to the Yankees.
The surgery to repair a torn labrum, bone impingement and the correction of a cyst is similar but not identical to the one performed on Rodriguez's right hip in 2009, according to the Yankees.
Rodriguez, who has a career 647 home runs, is coming off a disappointing season in which he hit 18 homers, drove in 57 runs and batted .272, and slumped during the postseason with a .120 batting average and no runs batted in. (Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)