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Posted: Saturday February 25, 2012 4:13PM ; Updated: Saturday February 25, 2012 10:18PM

A-Rod says he feels healthy, gives credit to Kobe

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Alex Rodriguez, who had surgery on his right knee last July, hit 16 home runs while playing in just 99 games last season.
Alex Rodriguez, who had surgery on his right knee last July, hit 16 home runs while playing in just 99 games last season.
Matt Slocum/AP
MLB Team Page

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez has an interesting offer for Jeremy Lin: Need a new roommate?

"If he's still looking for a place to crash, maybe he can crash at my apartment," the New York Yankees star said. "Imagine the tabloids then."

A day after arriving at spring training, Rodriguez said Saturday he feels healthy and gave a lot of credit to a special treatment suggested by another NBA star, Kobe Bryant.

But it didn't take long before A-Rod, like almost everyone else these days, was talking about the sudden success of Lin, the New York Knicks point guard who spent the night before his breakout game sleeping on teammate Landry Fields' couch -- only because his brother's place, where Lin had been staying, was unavailable.

Of course, now that his contract is guaranteed for the rest of the season, Lin has found his own apartment.

"Linsanity. Wow. What a run," Rodriguez said. "You look at the Giants, you look at Linsanity and there's been so many great things happening in New York. We kind of feel like we want to jump in the party.

"The great thing about Linsanity is that, it kind of reminds you of how fun the game should be," he added. "For some of us that have been playing for a long time, it's just the one second you take the game for granted, it makes you realize how much fun the game is."

Rodriguez had knee surgery last July and his power numbers dropped off in the second half and postseason.

The 36-year-old third baseman had plasma-rich platelet injections in his right knee and ailing left shoulder in December. The treatments were done in Germany following a recommendation by Bryant.

Rodriguez said Bryant was adamant about how much the procedure had helped him. Bryant said the pain was so bad for him that he almost thought about retirement.

"That's how much pain he was under, and said after he went to Germany that he felt like a 27-year-old again," Rodriguez said. "Now the thing is, if I can play as well as Kobe, we're in business."

A-Rod played in just 99 games last season and hit 16 home runs. He has 629 career homers.

"My knee does feel a lot better," Rodriguez said. "Basically it was five injections right into your knee on five consecutive days. After the third day it felt pretty darn good. Kobe said, `Look, your third or fourth day you actually will start feeling a lot better,' and he was exactly right."

The Yankees gave their permission after vetting the process, saying the therapy is in "complete compliance" with WADA and Major League Baseball regulations.

"We're in a no-excuses business," Rodriguez said. "Last year, for me, was a disappointing year. I don't think there's one guy that at the end of the year, September, October, November, that's going to say he's 100 percent. I just didn't get it done."

Rodriguez, who had surgery on his right hip in March 2009, was also examined by specialist Dr. Marc Philippon during the offseason.

"He's very happy with the range of motion and how it looks," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez declined to address Thursday's announcement that National League MVP Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension was overturned by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das, the first time a baseball player successfully challenged a drug-related penalty in a grievance.

"I don't know any of the details or facts," Rodriguez said.

Notes: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said he will throw off a mound for the first time Sunday. ... New York reliever Joba Chamberlain (elbow ligament replacement surgery) was fine one day after his latest half-mound session and remains scheduled to throw for the initial time on a full mound Tuesday. ... RHP Ivan Nova made 25 pitches during his first batting practice session. ... DH Raul Ibanez said he prepared in the offseason to be ready for some outfield work this year.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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