Steven Wright’s surgically repaired knee may never be the same as it once was, and the Boston Red Sox knuckleballer isn’t afraid to admit it.

Wright underwent a cartilage restoration surgery in 2017, the same procedure teammate Dustin Pedroia had. But because the surgery was one no other baseball players had undergone, there were questions about how rehabbing the repaired knee would go.

The pitcher looked good in 2018 and toted a 2.68 ERA through the regular season, serving as a starter and reliever for Boston. But the team was forced to shut him down in September because his knee flared up. Now with the 2019 scampaign on the horizon, Wright is ready to get back on the mound, but acknowledged he knows his knee may never get back to full strength.

“I think it’s going to be a day-by-day thing,” Wright told the Eagle Tribune’s Chris Mason. “I don’t think I’m ever going to feel 100 percent like I did before I hurt my knee, but trying to get as close to that as we can and staying consistent with it.”

Wright noted he was told the likelihood of getting back to 100 percent would be slim and was prepared for the physical battle, but it was the mental toll that’s been tougher on the 34-year-old.

“It’s been tough. It’s been tougher mentally than physically. Physically, we’re going to have some ups and downs. We’re getting old. It’s a game where it’s tough on your body, but then when you’ve got a flat tire going out there trying to pitch, it makes it a little bit tougher.”

If Wright can come back and be the solid pitcher he showed at times in 2018, it only will add to Boston’s threat chances of repeating as World Series champions.

Thumbnail photo via Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports Images