Dustin Pedroia was a member of the walking wounded last season, tearing a ligament in his thumb on Opening Day but waiting until after the World Series to have surgery.
Now, as the Boston Red Sox get set for spring training and another title defense, Pedroia says he’s finally back to full health.
“Everything went good with the surgery,’’ the second baseman said Monday, via The Boston Globe. “They put a pin in it for four weeks, but now the pin is gone. I kind of got a late start, but the rehab was great. I feel healthy. No setbacks. Everything’s great.’’
The injury did not cause Pedroia to miss any time (he played in 176 of the Red Sox’s 178 games, including the playoffs), but it caused him near constant discomfort.
“It was the most impressive thing I watched all year. The thumb was totally black,” third base and infield coach Brian Butterfield told reporters Monday. “He didn’t want anybody to know about it.”
The injury also sliced Pedroia’s power numbers (“We had half of him,” Butterfield said), limiting him to a career-low .415 slugging percentage and his lowest home run total (nine) since 2007. He made up for it in other facets, though, leading the team with 193 hits, ranking third on the roster with a .301 batting average and earning his third Gold Glove award.
“You just figure it out,’’ he said. “Try to get hits, man. That’s it. It’s fine now. It’s fixed up a bit. Once I got the pin out, it felt a lot better. It feels good to have that hand strength back. It seemed like it was a real short offseason. I got home, had the surgery, was in a cast for four weeks, and went on vacation for 10 days. Then it was rehab and training and being with the family. It happened real quick. You don’t have that much time to enjoy it.’’
The Sox will begin full-team workouts Thursday.