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Yankees, A-Rod clash over quad injury

Alex Rodriguez has retained a doctor that says the veteran third baseman doesn't have an injury to his quad.

The team, though, has another opinion.

The Yankees and Rodriguez have been at odds over the diagnosis of a strained left quadriceps.

Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad diagnosed A-Rod with a Grade 1 strain of the quad. Rodriguez was to remain on the disabled list and return to Tampa to rest and receive further evaluation.

Rodriguez, though, asked Dr. Michael Gross, chief of orthopedics of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, to overlook the MRI for a second opinion.

"To be perfectly honest, I don't see any sort of injury there," Gross told WFAN radio in New York. Gross added that Rodriguez asked the doctor if he thought he was fit to play.

"I asked him that specifically. I said, 'A-Rod, does anything hurt?' And he said, 'No.' If there's no pain -- to me, as an orthopedist -- that means there's no injury," Gross told WFAN. The doctor, though, also told the radio station he never examined Rodriguez in person and only spoke with him over the phone.

Also, Rodriguez failed to tell the Yankees he was receiving a second opinion about the injury, according to team general manager Brian Cashman. If that's the case Rodriguez's action goes against Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement.

"I heard via a text message this afternoon from Alex Rodriguez that he had retained a doctor to review his medical situation. In media reports, we have since learned that the doctor in question has acknowledged that he did not examine Mr. Rodriguez and that he was not retained to do a comprehensive medical examination of Mr. Rodriguez. Contrary to the Basic Agreement, Mr. Rodriguez did not notify us at any time that he was seeking a second opinion from any doctor with regard to his quad strain," Cashman said in a statement.

"As you know, it is the Yankees' desire to have Alex return to the lineup as soon as possible. And we have done everything to try and accomplish this.

"As early as Friday, July 12, when I suggested to Alex that we move his rehab from Tampa to Triple-A Scranton (at Buffalo), Alex complained for the first time of 'tightness' in his quad and therefore refused to consent to the transfer of his assignment. Again, last Sunday, Alex advised that he had stiffness in his quad and should not play on Sunday or Monday. We sent Alex to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI which evidenced a Grade 1 strain.

"As always, we will follow the rules and regulations set forth in the Basic Agreement, and will again re-evaluate Alex in Tampa tomorrow, as our goal is to return him to the lineup as soon as he is medically capable of doing so."

WFAN reported that Rodriguez has told the Yankees he wants to play Friday against Tampa Bay.

The three-time American League MVP has missed the entire season while recovering from surgery performed in January to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.

Rodriguez's time away from the Yankees has not been without controversy, with the 37-year-old headlining a list of MLB players linked to Biogenesis of America, a Miami-based anti-aging clinic suspected of supplying performance- enhancing substances that is currently under investigation by the league office.

Earlier this week, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended for the remainder of the season for violating the league's drug prevention and treatment program. Braun was one of the players linked to Biogenesis.