New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez is confident of playing next year despite his 211-game suspension for drug offences.

The 37-year-old is still waiting to see if his ban will be upheld by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz but admits he is still preparing for next season as usual.

In fact Rodriguez is so confident that he insisted journalists stop talking about legal matters and get back to baseball.

"Yes, I feel confident. I'm preparing as always, working hard. I feel completely healthy, I have the entire offseason to prepare for it," Rodriguez said to reporters at David Ortiz's Celebrity Golf Classic.

"We have to get out of this and start talking baseball," he said, "about the good things with MLB and about my hard training work to get back in the middle of the Yankees' lineup."

Rodriguez, who is the MLB's highest paid star, is currently fighting the suspension that was given to him in August after he was linked in connection with a Florida-based clinic which allegedly supplied a number of stars with performance-enhancing drugs.

A-Rod played 44 games for the Yankees last season as they failed to reach post-season play-offs for the second time in 19 years. He hit .244 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs.

The star also took time out to congratulate former-team mate Robinson Cano on his 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners.

"I'm very happy for Robinson Cano; he's like a little brother of mine," Rodriguez said. "We've talked a lot in the process. Congratulations to him and his family. He is not only a great player but a great human being and big representative of the Dominican Republic."

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