Alex Rodriguez, the near-forgotten former cornerstone of this Yankees roster, is inching back into public view. Rodriguez has cleared a critical step in his rehabilitation from offseason hip surgery, and general manager Brian Cashman Thursday indicated Rodriguez remains on track to return sometime after the All-Star break.

Rodriguez received clearance from surgeon Bryan Kelly to resume baseball activities. He is expected to begin working out at the team’s complex in Tampa on Monday, Cashman said. Rodriguez announced the news on his Facebook page, and added he was "really excited to be getting closer to being back on the field."

Rodriguez spent the entirety of spring training in New York, out of sight as MLB officials investigated his link to Biogenesis, the clinic that allegedly sold performance-enhancing drugs to baseball players. Rodriguez conducted his rehabilitation in the city, a process culminating in his "full-bore running," Cashman said.

"The trainer’s going to be talking to physical therapists," Cashman said a day before his team begins the final act of a 10-game homestand Friday with the first of three games against Oakland. "And they’re putting together the baseball protocol here this weekend, in advance of his reporting (to Tampa), May 6."

Despite the positive news for Rodriguez, the Yankees (17-10) received another blow to their roster Thursday. Reliever Joba Chamberlain was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain, a condition that arose earlier in the week. These injuries often require a full month of rest before a player returns, but Cashman holds out hope Chamberlain can come back when his 15-day stint on the disabled list ends.