Looking behind the scenes at how injuries play out, Rob Bradford of WEEI fame, talked at length with Dustin Pedroia about his season limiting hamstring injury.
Bradford was unable to catch up with Pedroia face to face in Boston, as the Red Sox second baseman wasted no time in starting his vacation after the season ended. They talked on a phone from Italy, where Pedroia and his wife Kelli went just two days after the last game to take an extended holiday.
"It was good to get away," said Pedroia.
You would have to go back to 2010 to find a season where Pedroia was off the feel more than in 2015. It was a season to forget with a huge impact being his hamstring injury that kept him off the field during the back end of the season.
Why was he out so long and why did he come back only to disappear to the disable list again?
What exactly was the injury that we were told so little about?
"Basically, I slipped and hurt the back part of my hamstring, like the back of my knee. The lower part where it attaches. The biceps femoris," Pedroia said over the phone. "I went and got an MRI and it was a 2.5 [grade tear]. It was black and blue for about 10 days."
"They give you a timeline of how long you’re going to be out. Throughout my career I have obviously healed quick. And with that injury everybody is different. Some people take two months. Some people take six weeks. Some people take longer. I think I came back in about 24 days."
"It was one of those things where I probably should have waited longer, but I was cleared by our guys to go. I think I played six games and it was starting to get black and blue again, so we did another MRI and they shut me down."
The identification of it involving the biceps femoris, which makes up the hamstring was concerning. Other players, like Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, saw their seasons end when this ligament was injured.
"Did it worry me? I can only go with what I’m told by the people," Pedroia said. "I think we were six games out or something after the break. Obviously, I was hitting batting practice. Running was the issue. But I was driving the ball and looked good. They would say, ‘'How do you feel?' And I felt good. Obviously, looking back, we’re six games out and we’re going to Anaheim and Houston for big series and you want to gain some momentum. I think we all looked ahead of ourselves instead of looking at the big picture."
He was also very aware that something was still not right, so he ended up playing with extreme caution.
"I kicked myself, and I’m sure everyone else does too. If we waited a week or so after maybe I would have done what I did the second time and we would have had better success."
"I came back with 25 games left and they said, 'Listen, we know you want to play, we want you to play, but you have to be smart. We're not going to let this happen again. Let's get through the rest of the way with you playing, we'll be smart, manage the days off,'" he said. "In the off season I have to break down the scar tissue, build back my strength and then I'll be back to normal."
With Pedroia you know he wants to be on the field, but in this case he was playing with the brakes on and the end of the season couldn't come fast enough.
With some warm Italian weather, taking long strolls in Tuscany, he should be nice and rested. Expect him to be heading back to his off season home in Arizona ands working towards a complete 2016 season.
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More by Eric D. Schabell