A-Rod's left hip injury leaves Yankees hurting on left side of diamond with Derek Jeter out too

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Already attempting to balance a roster of aging players, weighty contracts and a desire to contain payroll, the New York Yankees may lose third baseman Alex Rodriguez for part of the 2013 season.

Rodriguez has a tear in his left hip, according to the New York Post, which will require surgery. He had surgery on his right hip in 2009.

Recovery from the surgery, which typically requires three to six months, probably will extend into the season. The Yankees also could start the season without 38-year-old shortstop Derek Jeter, who fractured his left ankle in October.

The Post reported that Rodriguez, 37, began to feel the effects of his damaged hip late in the regular season. Rodriguez batted .261 and hit three home runs in the final month of the season, then .120 with no home runs or RBIs in a miserable postseason in which he was pinch-hit for and benched. He also struck out 12 times in 25 at-bats.

[Related: MLB free-agent tracker]

Until recently, it appeared the Yankees would be content putting most of last season’s AL East champion back together again. They re-signed pitchers Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda and hoped to sign an outfielder to replace the departed Nick Swisher. General manager Brian Cashman surely will have to cover for the left side of his infield, perhaps for an extended period of time at third base.

Free-agent third-base options include Kevin Youkilis and Jeff Keppinger. Shortstops Marco Scutaro and Stephen Drew also are free agents.

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