Tampa, Fla. — Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez underwent arthroscopic surgery Monday to repair torn cartilage in his right hip, and doctors said they found nothing that would keep him from returning to the lineup in May.
“The surgery went exactly as we planned,” said Dr. Marc Philippon, who performed the 80-minute procedure at Vail Valley Surgery Center in Colorado. “No surprises.”
Other options considered were a more aggressive surgery that would have sidelined Rodriguez up to four months or a conservative approach of rest and treatment.
“There is no doubt in our minds that this was the best option,” Philippon said. “This was the best option for Alex and the Yankees.”
General manager Brian Cashman expects the three-time AL MVP back on the field “sometime in May.” Rodriguez will need a more extensive operation after the season, and Philippon said Rodriguez will “absolutely” be ready for spring training in 2010.
Rodriguez was expected to be released from the hospital later Monday and to start his rehabilitation. He was to perform range of motion drills and ride a stationary bike.
“Alex is doing well,” Philippon said. “Over the next few days, until Friday, we will work on his range of motion. Hopefully by Friday or Sunday, we will start working on his muscle memory and adding range of motion that involves the rotation of a batter when he swings.”
Carolina men back on top
North Carolina edged Pittsburgh for No. 1 in the Associated Press’ college basketball poll Monday in one of the closest votes ever.
The Tar Heels (27-3), who were an unanimous No. 1 in the preseason poll and for the first seven weeks of the season, moved up one place to reclaim the top spot after beating Duke on Sunday to win the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title.
Pittsburgh (28-3) moved up one place after beating Connecticut for a second time this season when the Huskies were ranked No. 1. The Panthers finished tied for second in the Big East with Connecticut, one game behind Louisville.
North Carolina received 35 first-place votes and 1,734 points from the 71-member national media panel. Pittsburgh was No. 1 on 33 ballots and had 1,731 points.
On Jan. 27, 1981, Oregon State and Virginia tied for No. 1, the only time that has happened since the poll began in the 1948-49 season.
Connecticut (27-3), which had moved back to No. 1 last week, dropped to third and was followed by Memphis, Louisville, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Wake Forest, Duke and Villanova.
Memphis (28-3), which has the nation’s longest winning streak at 22 games and completed its third straight unbeaten regular season in Conference USA, received two No. 1 votes, while Louisville (25-5) received the other first-place vote.
Kansas, the Big 12 champion, dropped two spots to 11th and was followed by Gonzaga, Washington, Missouri, UCLA, Butler, Clemson, Syracuse, Xavier and LSU.
Fergie to play Final Four
Detroit — Fergie, the Pussycat Dolls and Staind are among the musical acts scheduled to perform during three days of free music concerts tied to the Final Four in Detroit.
The NCAA and the local organizing committee on Monday announced the first part of the musical lineup for the event, which will take place Friday-Sunday, April 3-5, on the city’s riverfront.
Saturday’s lineup features the Pussycat Dolls and Gavin DeGraw. On Sunday, “American Idol” star Ryan Seacrest will host the day’s activities, including performances from Fergie, Staind and Gym Class Heroes.
Ohio State women in top 10
Ohio State cracked the top 10 of the Associated Press’ women’s college basketball poll on Monday for the first time in two years.
The Buckeyes moved into ninth after beating Purdue 67-66 to win the Big Ten tournament on Sunday. Connecticut remained an unanimous No. 1 for the 15th week in a row. The Huskies routed Villanova 72-42 on Monday night in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.
Deng out at least 2 weeks
Miami — For Luol Deng, a tiny leg fracture is becoming a big problem.
The Chicago Bulls’ forward will sit out at least two more weeks because of what he called “very small, not even a hairline” break in his right leg, something that could wind up jeopardizing the remainder of his season.
Bobcats send 2 to NBADL
Charlotte, N.C. — The Charlotte Bobcats sent rookies Alexis Ajinca and Sean Singletary to Sioux Falls of the NBA Development League on Monday and agreed to sign guard Dontell Jefferson to a 10-day contract.
Celtics without 5 players
Waltham, Mass. — The Boston Celtics’ biggest opponent right now is the training room.
The Celtics will not dress five players when they play at the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Coach Doc Rivers on Monday ruled out Rajon Rondo and Glen ’Big Baby’ Davis after both sprained their right ankles over the weekend.
They join superstar Kevin Garnett, Brian Scalabrine and Tony Allen on the sidelines. Garnett has a sprained right knee, and Allen has an injured left thumb. Scalabrine has post-concussion syndrome.
Barkley freed from jail
Phoenix — Former NBA star Charles Barkley was released from jail Monday after serving a three-day sentence on a drunken-driving conviction.
Barkley left the Tent City jail just before 8 a.m., and avoided a group of reporters by leaving through another door, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Brian Lee said.
Seattle re-signs OL
Renton, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks have re-signed offensive lineman Ray Willis and signed free agent tight end John Owens.
Eagles re-sign LB, claim RB
Philadelphia — The Philadelphia Eagles re-signed linebacker Tank Daniels to a one-year contract Monday. The Eagles also claimed running back Eldra Buckley off waivers from San Diego.
Lions sign LB, RB
Allen Park, Mich. — The Detroit Lions signed linebacker Cody Spencer and re-signed running back Aveion Cason to one-year contracts.
Jags add LT Thomas
Jacksonville, Fla. — Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tra Thomas signed a three-year contract with the Jaguars on Monday.
Packers sign S Smith
Green Bay, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers signed safety Anthony Smith on Monday, their first free-agent deal of the offseason.
Bucs LB Hayes stabbed
Tampa, Fla. — Authorities say the girlfriend of Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Geno Hayes stabbed him in the head and in the neck.
U.S. extends athletes’ stay
Washington — The next big Dominican baseball prospect won’t face a limit on his playing career in the United States, now that U.S. immigration officials have agreed to let foreign athletes keep playing here as long as they leave the country after 10 years and apply for a new visa.
The change came in a new policy memo issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Under the old regulations, recipients could get five years on the visa and extend it once for another five years, not to exceed a total of 10 years.
K.C. dispute continues
Kansas City, Mo. — The dispute continues over whether Kansas City should use the money it has committed for upkeep of the Truman Sports Complex to stave off cuts to the police department.
On Monday, Mayor Mark Funkhouser held a news conference to restate his case that Kansas City should quit paying $2 million a year for upkeep at the complex, home of stadiums for the Royals and Chiefs.
The mayor said the tight city budget forces a choice between families and sports. But county leaders held another news conference Monday to criticize the proposal.
Some fear that if the city stops paying, the authority’s lease with the Royals and Chiefs could be voided and give the teams a chance to leave town.