Alex Rodriguez is back on the field for the first time since he underwent surgery on his left hip almost four months ago.
He joined a group of injured New York Yankees starters Monday at the team's minor league complex. The 37-year-old third baseman ran, played catch and hit off a tee.
Rodriguez said it's "like being 8 years old again when I first grabbed a bat." He added that he's "really looking forward to getting back."
Rodriguez had surgery Jan. 16 and could return to the Yankees after the All-Star break.
"I love when all these people say, 'You can't do this. You can't do that. You're done. You're old,'" the Dominican-American explained last month. "It's a great challenge to prove all you guys wrong and everyone wrong."
Two months shy of his 38th birthday, Rodriguez has transformed from three-time Most Valuable Player to most touchy subject. He's owed $114 million in the remaining five years of his record $275 million, 10-year contract, and he's viewed by many Yankees fans and even some in the team's management as a drain on the club's payroll.
And that was before a January report in Miami New Times alleging he received performance-enhancing drugs from a Florida anti-aging clinic.
Rodriguez hasn't played a full season since 2007, missing time because of a strained quadriceps (2008), right hip surgery (2009), a strained calf (2010), knee surgery (2011) and a broken hand (2012). Before the latest hip injury was discovered, he was benched in three of nine postseason games and pinch hit for in three others. He batted .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs in the playoffs, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handers.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.