Dustin Pedroia may have complicated his offseason by playing with a thumb injury all year. But as the Red Sox second baseman awaits surgery and weeks of recovery time, he says there are no regrets, with the gamble he took paying off exactly as he had hoped.
“It was a grind some days, but my teammates were great at picking me up just at the right time,” he said of the torn ligament in his left thumb, which he injured in the first game of the season. “I didn’t want to miss out. I knew from Day 1 this was a special season.”
Pedroia told ESPN.com that he had an MRI on the thumb on Tuesday and will have surgery next Tuesday, Nov. 12. Dr. Donald Sheridan will repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament, and he may need to go to extra measures after Pedroia let the tear go unfixed all season.
“I guess because I played with [the injury] the whole year, it’s made it a little tougher,” Pedroia said. “If they do the normal surgery, there has to be some good endings [of the ligament] to re-attach it. If there’s not, we have to do it a different way.”
Sheridan may have to take a ligament from Pedroia’s wrist to reattach the thumb ligament, similar to what happens in Tommy John surgery for pitchers, Pedroia said. He said it shouldn’t complicate the procedure beyond perhaps a few more weeks of recovery time, which could be four to six weeks or six to eight weeks depending on what type of surgery is done.
“They made it seem like it’s no big deal,” he said. “It may cost me an extra couple of weeks longer to recover, that’s all. I should be fine for spring training.”
Pedroia said he learned to adjust to the injury this season, in which he batted .301 with a .372 on-base percentage and drove in 84 runs, the second-highest total of his career, despite hitting just nine home runs. He said he actually benefited from opposing pitchers pitching him away, which is usually a weakness for him, as he struggled to hit balls that were inside with his injured thumb.