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A-Rod preps for rehab stint with simulated game

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez played a simulated game Thursday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, setting him up to start another Minor League rehabilitation assignment this weekend with Double-A Trenton.

Rodriguez is scheduled to join the Trenton Thunder on Friday and Saturday at ARM & HAMMER Park, his first official games since a Grade 1 strain in his left quadriceps delayed his return to the Bronx. That could put Rodriguez in line to rejoin the Yankees on Monday in Chicago, if he gets through the weekend without another setback or a suspension related to his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic.

Rodriguez, who hasn't played in the Majors this season after undergoing his second major hip surgery in January, hit .200 with two homers, eight RBIs, 12 strikeouts and a walk during his first rehab assignment from July 2-20. On the final day of that Minor League stint, he complained of tightness in his left quad, an injury that brought him back to Florida for more rest and treatment.

After a disagreement over the severity of the strain, the Yankees and Rodriguez agreed on a recovery plan, and the 38-year-old third baseman completed the final step toward a second rehab assignment Thursday by participating in a simulated game.

Rodriguez arrived at the Yankees' Minor League complex just after 9 a.m. ET on Thursday morning. Because of wet grounds at the facility, where he has been working out, Rodriguez was moved to Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees' Spring Training home.

The ballpark was closed to the media, but Rodriguez could be seen fielding ground balls at third base and running the bases during the simulated game. According to the Yankees, Rodriguez had six simulated at-bats in which he saw 31 pitches, and there were no fielders in the game. He was then taken back to the Minor League complex, where he exited the clubhouse and hopped into his car.

With about 20 reporters and five television crews waiting on the sidewalk outside of the facility, it appeared as if Rodriguez might publicly address his status and how he's feeling.

Rodriguez pulled up his car just short of the entrance, pointing to a group of print reporters on the left side of the driveway. He waved over the handful of writers, rolled down his window and said, "I'll talk to you guys, but no cameras." When another group of TV reporters and cameramen arrived, however, Rodriguez rolled up his window, idled for a moment, then left without speaking to reporters.

Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez