City reaches fever pitch as A-Rod preps for 1st game as a Dog

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The city of Charleston is swarming around news of Alex Rodriguez milling about town, having lunch and otherwise preparing for Tuesday night's Riverdogs game.

The Yankees and the Riverdogs announced Monday that A-Rod, who has been sidelined this season with a hip injury, would be stepping back on to the field in Charleston briefly as he makes his return to the Majors.

He's expected to play at least three innings Tuesday night.Rodriguez said before batting practice that he plans to play in Wednesday night's game with Rome, too.

He'll be joined with fellow teammate on the road to recovery, Eduardo Nunez, who is rehabbing a strained left oblique muscle.

This will be Nunez' first appearance in a Riverdogs uniform since 2007.

Rodriguez told the Associated Press he felt great and was ready to return to the game.

"So far, no issues," Rodriguez said. "I'm just working really hard. I'm having fun. It's exciting to be back on the field."

Rodriguez says he'll likely need all 20 rehabilitation games allowed to work back into playing shape before returning to the Yankees. And he is confident he'll be back this season.

Rodriguez underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum and bone impingement in his left hip. The Yankees said the expected recovery time was four to six months and signed Kevin Youkilis to play third base in A-Rod's extended absence.

But the rain may have other plans for A-Rod's first game back. Clouds have lingered all day long over the Joe Riley Stadium, making it impossible for crews to take the tarps off the field.

Rodriguez was slated to speak ahead of his batting practice Tuesday afternoon, but that was contingent on the field being uncovered so he could take some pitches on the field.

The game is slated to start at 7:05 p.m. and Riverdogs officials have already said that standing room only tickets are the only thing available.

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