A-Rod praises Yanks for stepping up

A-Rod praises Yanks for stepping up

TORONTO -- Alex Rodriguez's strained left calf may be keeping him out of the Yankees' lineup, but the All-Star third baseman's sense of humor seems to be intact.

Rodriguez has followed the recommendations to stay off his feet and receive treatment after aggravating his injury on Friday in New York, and as the Yankees head into play Monday wielding a 12-0 record with him out of the lineup, staying on the sidelines seems a little easier.

"I'm certain that I'm going to be back strong," Rodriguez said. "My only concern, the way the team's been winning right now, I'm afraid [Brian] Cashman and Joe [Girardi] are going to bring me into the office and they're go to move me to the 60-day DL."

Not likely, as Girardi has said he plans on restoring Rodriguez to his customary No. 4 spot in the lineup as soon as he returns. In the meantime, Rodriguez said he has been receiving ice and heat therapy on the calf, the first time in his career he has had to deal with this type of issue.

"Guys have stepped up in his absence and a lot of good things have to happen to win a game, so it's not just one person," Girardi said.

Rodriguez said that he is "very confident" that he will be able to return in the minimum 15 days, and guessed that it will be about five days until he can resume baseball activities.

Of course, unless the Yankees keep winning with him as a cheerleader.

"Somebody's going to kick me in the calf and take me out of my misery," Rodriguez joked. "That's the thing about this team. Everyone steps up. The way Robbie [Cano] and CC [Sabathia], the way these guys step up is pretty awesome."