Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is claiming that his team doctor misdiagnosed a hip injury he suffered during last year’s playoffs, according to ESPN. His attorneys are preparing a medical malpractice lawsuit and plan to file as soon as their records are complete.
After Game 3 of the American League Divisional Series against the Orioles, Rodriguez advised the team that his right hip felt “off.” He had previous surgery on that hip. An MRI was performed and the doctor and radiologist found nothing wrong with the right hip.
However, Rodriguez’s lawyers claim that team doctor Chris Ahmad found a tear in his left hip and failed to tell him. The MRI report prepared by the radiologist stated: "[s]table postoperative appearance of the right hip with no evidence of labral re-tear, stable degenerative change, and only minimal gluteus medius insertional tendinosis. Partial evaluation of left hip revealing superior labral tear with small parabal cyst."
Rodriguez had left hip surgery in the offseason and missed most of the current year as a result. During the 2012 postseason, A-Rod went 3-for-25 with no extra-base hits and 12 strikeouts. He was eventually benched for certain games and pinch hit for during the playoffs. Rodriguez’s lawyer claims the Yankees forced him to “play like an invalid,” according to the New Jersey Star Ledger.
However, the Yankees claim that Rodriguez knew of his injury and begged manager Joe Girardi to keep him in the lineup. To prove their claim, the Yankees offered to publicly release all of Rodriguez’s medical records if he consented.
The Yankees and Rodriguez have been feuding since it was found that Rodriguez was a habitual steroid user, and some have suggested the Yanks want to get out of paying the rest of his contract. This potential lawsuit might be a ploy in that greater power struggle. However, if true, keeping the torn left labrum from Rodriguez could be argued to be a departure from good medical practice. Even million-dollar athletes deserve to be given the truth about their injuries and at least the choice to play through them or protect their health. Of course it should be noted that hip injuries such as A-Rod’s have been associated with steroid use.