The New York Yankees third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, has become a household name in the past few days — not for his unbelievable saves, but for his series of medical controversies. This past weekend, the Bronx Bomber was diagnosed with a quad strain by Yankees team doctor, Chris Ahmad, who declared him unfit to play for the next two weeks. "I am extremely disappointed with the results of the MRI and hoping to be back as soon as possible and continue with my goal of coming back and helping the Yankees win a championship," said Rodriguez in a statement released through his PR firm. A-Rod then solicited a second opinion from Dr. Michael Gross, orthopedic director of sports medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center. Gross, who allegedly has never met the baseball all-star, is connected to him through a mutual colleague that is a physical therapist, reports ESPN.

Dr. Gross's Diagnosis

Gross, who briefly spoke with Rodriguez about his MRI, went on WFAN Radio Wednesday to confirm he did not see anything that would impede A-Rod's ability to play on the field. "A Grade 1 strain is a clinical diagnosis, which means you base it on the person's symptoms and on examining them. It's not impossible not to see much on an MRI. It's such a small thing that you might not see it on an MRI," said Gross to Mike Francesa on the radio. While the doctor's diagnosis could have made the Yankees franchise rethink the decision to keep A-Rod on the down low for the next two weeks, Gross admitted he was not a "radiologist" and just wanted to look at the MRI because he thought it would be 'fun.' Regardless of whether Gross was a radiologist or not, he did not have the substantial evidence to make such claims about the player's quad sprain.

A-Rod's Quad Strain

The Yankees' doctor, Ahmad, diagnosed the player's MRI as a grade one quad strain — the least minimal damage done to a muscle due to overstretching the tissue. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Suregeons (AAOS) states that muscle strains are a common injury in people who play sports. The diagnosis for a muscle strain is graded based on its severity from grade one to grade three. The three grades of muscle strain are the following:

    There is damage to individual muscle fibers (less than five percent of fibers). This is a mild strain which requires two to three weeks of rest.
    There is more extensive damage, with more muscle fibers involved, but the muscle is not completely ruptured. The rest period required is usually between three and six weeks.
    This is a complete rupture of a muscle. In a sports person, this will usually require surgery to repair the muscle. The rehabilitation time is around three months.

Lack Of Substantial Evidence For A-Rod To Play

The New Jersey doctor, who allegedly looked at A-Rod's MRI, claimed to have told the all-star that he could not play without conducting a full examination, though based on the MRI, he has a "healthy quad." According to, a Yankee player, who has remained anonymous, said that no one had requested a copy of the MRI film, initially examined by Ahmad in Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital; even Rodriguez opted to not keep a copy for his personal records.

A-Rod's second opinion could be costly

While A-Rod sought to get on the field as quickly and efficiently as possible, his second opinion, from a doctor who did not do an in-person consultation, was a violation committed by the third baseman. A-Rod violated the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) in MLB Article XIII, Paragraph D of the CBA, which states that "a Player shall inform the Club in writing" before seeking a second medical opinion. The eager player jumped the gun and decided to pursue the opinion of Gross without informing the Yankees Club in writing about his decision. His phone consultation could leave the player paying for the medical consultation, although Gross states he did not charge A-Rod.

Gross Reprimanded For Medical Violation

Gross' diagnosis of the Yankees third baseman is not the only thing that is raising eyebrows. In February, the state of New Jersey reprimanded the doctor for having an employee who graduated from medical school but was not licensed by the state. Gross told about the unlicensed employee: "We never called him doctor or anything. We had patients sign a waiver knowing that he wasn't a doctor," he said. Gross was also charged with lack of proper medical care that pertained to prescriptions of hormones and steroids. While he was reprimanded and did not have his license suspended, he had to pay a substantial amount of money for the medical violation.

As for A-Rod, his series of medical scandals has spurred an investigation by MLB on the nature of the relationship between him and Gross. The likelihood of A-Rod's suspension is also based on accusations against the Yankee player of taking performance-enhancing drugs at Biogenesis of America, a former Florida clinic.