Andy Pettitte Robinson Cano Derek Jeter Vernon Wells and Joe Girardi spoke positively about Alex Rodriguez joining the free-falling Yankees tonight in Chicago.

Interestingly Mariano Rivera a strong supporter of the beleaguered third baseman throughout his many issues didn’t join the choir.

Asked whether the return of a healthy Rodriguez from the disabled list would be good for the Yankees who are 9 1/2 games out of first place and 4 1/2 off the wild-card pace Rivera said: “Well I mean yeah with all these distractions without that definitely so again we have to see what happens [today].”

“I don’t have to say nothing more” he said. “I don’t want to get involved in any of that stuff. You ask me about me I’ll answer any questions. I’m not going [to talk] about anything else.”

In the aftermath of a 6-3 loss to the Padres and on the way to Chicago where Rodriguez will join the Yankees tonight against the reeling White Sox who have lost 10 straight nobody was anointing Rodriguez a savior.

A second hip surgery a Grade 1 strain of the left quadriceps and his very public battles with MLB and the Yankees in addition to a suspension that will be announced today have cast a huge pall over the 38-year-old whose 647 homers are fifth on the all-time list and the most among active players.

Yet the Yankees have started eight players at third base this year and none of them have done well.

“If he is here [today] I look forward to seeing him’’ said Jeter who is a strong candidate to go on the DL with a Grade 1 strain of the right calf. His roster spot would go to Rodriguez who had hip surgery in January and suffered a Grade 1 strain of the left quad during a minor league rehab assignment.