Alex Rodriguez Injury Blamed on Steroids

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The issue of anabolic steroids came up shortly after the New York Yankees announced that third baseman Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez was having surgery to repair an injured hip. Some sports writers were compelled to search for a link between steroids and the type of injury sustained by Rodriguez. Even in the absence of any link, a couple of newspapers ran sensationalistic stories blaming the injury on steroids.

While Rodriguez did admit using the steroids testosterone and Primobolan Depot in the past, the period of steroid use was short-lived and, according to Rodriguez, ended in 2003 when he played for the Texas Rangers. No one has provided any evidence that Rodriguez has used anabolic steroids at any time during the past decade.

Rodriguez will undergo arthroscopic surgery to “repair a torn labrum, bone impingement and the correction of a cyst” in his left hip according to a statement by the Yankees. Dr. Bryan Kelly, an orthopedic surgeon at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York will perform the surgery in January 2013. Rehabilitation and recovery is estimated to take up to six months.

Brian Cashman, the general manager for the Yankees, was asked if he thought steroids were responsible for Rodriguez’s torn labrum. But Cashman refused to entertain the steroid speculation.

“Do I wonder whether it is?” Cashman repeated. “It doesn’t matter what I wonder.”

Rodriguez underwent surgery for a similar injury on his right hip in 2009. He faced many of the same steroid questions at that time.

Dr. David Geier, an orthopedic surgeon and director of the Medical University of South Carolina Sports Medicine Center, pointed to the absence of any evidence linking steroids to the type of injury suffered by Rodriguez.

“There is no evidence of a relationship between athletes with labral tears of the hip or femoroacetabular impingement and the use of performance-enhancing drugs,” Dr. Geier wrote in an article for the Bleacher Report.

The 38-year old Rodriguez has five years and $114 million remaining on his contract. Fortunately for Rodriguez and the Yankees organization, the overwhelming majority of professional athletes undergoing labral and impingement surgeries return to their previous level of performance.

Photo credit: Keith Allison / Flickr


Geier, D. (December 4, 2012). Alex Rodriguez: Details About His Hip Injury and Surgery. Retrieved from

Thompson, T. (December 3, 2012). Steroid suspicion surrounding Alex Rodriguez prompts questions to Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Retrieved from