New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said he expects a big 2013 even though he is having hip surgery in mid-January.
Rodriguez reportedly could miss up to half the season because of the surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. The Yankees said the recovery time is four to six months.
Though he would not offer his own target date to return, Rodriguez told the New York Post he is optimistic about the coming season while handing out toys at a Boys & Girls Club in Miami on Saturday.
"Look, we've read this script and seen this movie before, and hopefully it has the same ending (as 2009)," he said. "In '09, I remember, when I went down, a lot of people counted us out, and we had a pretty tough April. But sometime around May, the magic started, and it just got better and better."
Rodriguez had right hip surgery that year and the Yankees won their last World Series.
He did admit that it was "a crushing blow" when he recently found out he needed the surgery to save his career.
Rodriguez complained about hip pain during the ALCS in October, when he struggled against the Texas Rangers.
"Listen, I'm not a medical doctor or staff," he said. "I think everyone was trying to do the best they can. It was definitely an unfortunate situation, and if we knew, I think, we could've avoided the bloodbath of the last two weeks (of the season). That was quite miserable, to be honest with you.
"The bottom line is, with the tangible issue, a lot of things make a lot of sense. Now I get to go back and play baseball."
He clarified that the tangible issue was finding out about the injury.
Rodriguez had an MRI after Game 1 of the series and it checked out OK. During a recent doctor visit in Vail, Colo., however, a new injury to his left hip was revealed.
Rodriguez struggled in the postseason, going 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts in the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers and was eventually benched.
The 37-year-old batted .272 this year with 18 home runs and 57 RBI in 122 games. His .783 OPS was its lowest since 1995.
His 2009 surgery occurred shortly after he admitted taking performance enhancing drugs. He ended the season strong and helped the Yankees win the World Series.
Rodriguez is still owed $114 million dollars on his contract that runs through 2017.
The Yankees are looking to fill Rodriguez's spot while he is out. They offered free agent infielder Kevin Youkilis a one-year, $12 million contract.
"Don't count us out," Rodriguez said. "We are the New York Yankees."