Brian Cashman expects Alex Rodriguez to be back sometime in the middle of the season.

But the Yankees' general manager is also realistic enough to acknowledge the third baseman's surgically repaired hip could cost him all of 2013.

"I've been saying all along, 'Is it possible he might not be able to come back this season?' Sure, it's possible," Cashman said yesterday. "It's a serious surgery. But there's no indication he won't be back by the summer. At the same time, when you're dealing with this kind of thing, there are no guarantees."

Rodriguez has been undergoing physical therapy at Yankee Stadium, but according to Cashman will be heading to Miami soon. Rodriguez will do most of his work with the Yankees either in Tampa or at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, where he had the operation to repair a torn labrum and impingement in his left hip.

"I talked to his physical therapist the other day and he said Alex is exactly where he should be," Cashman said. "There haven't been any changes or anything unexpected."