NEW YORK (AP) – Alex Rodriguez will return to the New York Yankees for their game Friday in Baltimore.

The team announced that Rodriguez would rejoin the team on Thursday, a few hours after the third baseman played in his final rehab game in Florida. He went 0-for-2 with two walks and put in three innings of defense.

Rodriguez had surgery March 9 on his right hip, but has recovered more quickly than expected.

The three-time AL MVP spent much of his rehab assignment facing questions about a biography released this week that suggests he used performance-enhancing drugs in high school and may also have taken them after he became a Yankee in 2004.

Rodriguez hasn’t commented about the book.

Rodriguez shook hands and thanked support staff at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa for their work after taking extra grounders and batting practice following the intrasquad game.

He 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.”


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