Joe Girardi said Wednesday that the Yankees are being cautious with Alex Rodriguez hip issues because this may or may not be a continuation of problems he had with his hip at the end of last season.

“Whenever you have something going on, you’re concerned,” Girardi said. “The fact he didn’t have a lot of pain is a little bit more comforting. He’s been able to play, and play at a high level. It hasn’t kept him from doing anything. It hasn’t kept him from driving the baseball. That’s the good thing.”

Rodriguez apparently complained about stiffness and tightness in his hip area this spring.  An MRI revealed a cyst, although it is unclear where on his hip the cyst is located.   He is scheduled to meet today with hip specialist Dr. Marc Phillipon.

“Alex has proven his durability throughout his career, and we will take every precaution and step necessary to ensure his health as we near the start of the 2009 regular season and beyond,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement.

As I mentioned yesterday, A-Rod’s availability for the WBC is now in jeopardy.  The Dominican team’s first game is scheduled for Saturday against the Netherlands.