07/15/2003 12:59 AM ET
Sweeney still on comeback road
Royals star says A-Rod jumped gun with comment
CHICAGO -- Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney said Monday night that he's still on course to
return soon from his ailing neck and back, and he intends to come back for the pennant run despite
some speculation from an unlikely source that he might not be back this season.
Rangers star Alex Rodriguez set off a few alarms with some comments made while providing
commentary on ESPN during the Century 21 All-Star Home Run Derby, essentially suggesting
Sweeney could be out for the remainder of the season.
Sweeney said later that A-Rod jumped the gun a little bit, although it's apparent missing the
remainder of the season isn't completely out of the question.
"It's just getting better and hopefully I won't have any more setbacks," Sweeney said. "I think what
Alex was getting at is that Alex and I have similar injuries. Alex had his in Spring Training, and
there's a chance if mine flares up big time again, I might miss the season.
"But right now, it isn't even a possibility. They're treating it, it's pretty much healed up and my plan
is to be back real soon."
Sweeney has been on the disabled list since June 19 with nerve irritation in the neck and back and
saw sports spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins last week in Los Angeles. Sweeney is scheduled to
work out Wednesday night after the break and be re-evaluated then.
Rodriguez had a herniated disk in his neck during Spring Training and missed about two weeks
while the swelling in the area went down, thanks in part to an anti-inflammatory injection.
"I think mine's a little more severe than his, a little more herniated," Sweeney said. "But everything's
been going great. My team's in first place right now and I want to get back and do my part."
Sweeney had a cortisone shot one week ago and had to bow out of playing in the All-Star Game.
Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi was added to the American League roster in his place.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
By John Schlegel / MLB.com