Alex Rodriguez is taking the next step on the road to recovery.
The New York Yankees third baseman completed a rehab assignment with double-A Trenton on Tuesday night, going 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI at the plate, and after a day off on Wednesday will play for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday.
Rodriguez, who underwent hip surgery in January and his not played in a major-league game since last October, has progressed from Class A to Double-A and now to Triple-A as he targets Monday as a return date to the Yankees for the start of a four-game road series agaiinst the Texas Rangers.
"I will be back on Monday and I'm very excited," Rodriguez told WFAN radio, "if I have a good weekend, I'll be there in Texas."
Though Rodriguez is a combined 5-for-28 in his minor-league appearances, he is far from discouraged.
"I feel good. What I'm happy with is I'm getting the barrel of the bat on the ball," he told reporters before Tuesday night's game. "I'm swinging at strikes. I'm getting the ball into the air to the outfield. I'm eliminating the ground balls.
"I never really paid that much attention to rehab statistics until this year. To me, getting the barrel of the bat on the ball is much more important."
After Tuesday's outing, he has played seven innings at third base in four straight games and described that as a "step I needed to take in this."