By Abby Sims
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Mark Teixeira didn’t complete the fourth inning of yesterday’s game against the Angels, remaining on the bench with a recurrence of symptoms in his right wrist. Teixeira had only recently returned to the lineup (May 31st) after missing two months due to the injury that originally surfaced even before his first at bat in the World Baseball Classic. Though he has not been very successful at the plate since rejoining the team, Teixeira had reportedly not complained of pain or stiffness until yesterday.
The incredibly unrealistic pre-season prediction that Tex would likely miss only two weeks of action was amended early on. In an earlier column, I’d quoted him as having said he would not play until his wrist was 100 percent. At that time, he’d also acknowledged that he might face surgery if the injury did not heal sufficiently.
The role of the sheath is to stabilize the tendon within, enabling it to function more effectively, and minimize the likelihood it would sustain degenerative wear and tear and any resultant inflammation. Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays had a similar injury and, after failed conservative management and a brief attempt at a comeback, required a surgical repair.
If he didn’t make his living hitting baseballs, waiting to see the outcome of rehab alone would likely have been the best option for Teixeira. However, it was my feeling from the outset that, because he risked ultimately requiring surgery, getting it over with was the better choice. This would have increased the chances of recovery in time to be an impact player for the second half of this season. Yes, there are risks inherent with any surgery, but the scenario that is playing out only prolongs the process.
Yesterday’s post-game reports stated that Teixeira will consult a specialist. Girardi was quoted as saying he would keep Teixeira out of the lineup for a couple of days. Once again, optimism reigns. With nothing to go on except what I’ve read, it appears that surgery is likely in Teixeira’s future. If so, his recovery will take at least three months.
As with his previous non-operative treatment, post-op rehab entails initial immobilization of the area followed by a gradual progression of care. The focus is on restoring soft tissue and joint mobility as well as muscle strength and flexibility before progressing to baseball specific activities.
As for Teixeira missing only two days? Even if he isn’t headed to the operating room, if his wrist hurt yesterday, it isn’t likely to be fine on Monday.
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