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Mar 3, 10:59 AM EST

A-Rod says he'll be "a little nervous' in return Wednesday


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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez predicts he'll be "a little nervous" when he returns to the field Wednesday for his first game in 17 months following a season-long drug suspension.

The three-time AL MVP, who turns 40 in July, skipped the New York Yankees' spring training opener Tuesday against Philadelphia in Clearwater. He is slated to be a designated hitter for two or three at-bats against the Phillies on Wednesday at Steinbrenner Field.

He says he's "excited for tomorrow" and adds: "I'm not sure how ready, but I'll give it a shot."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi says of Rodriguez: "He was caught. He paid his time and now he's back, and he's a Yankee and we're going to cheer for him."

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