Alex Rodriguez's surgeon, Dr. Bryan Kelly, told the Yankees that he discovered less cartilage damage in A-Rod's hip than expected, a good sign that the third baseman will have fewer complications as he tries to come back, a source said.

"It was minimal," the source said. "Now it's up to his rehab."

Minimal cartilage damage means "they wouldn't have to do a microfracture (procedure) or anything where they are trying to regenerate areas where the cartilage has worn away," said Dr. Derek Ochiai, an orthopedic surgeon and hip arthroscopy specialist in Arlington, Va.

"That will mean his rehab has the highest chance of successfully getting back to the level with his hip that he was before his hip started hurting."

Still, nothing is guaranteed for A-Rod, who was scheduled to be released from the hospital on Thursday. Full recovery from the surgery is six months, the team has said.

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