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Pedroia Vows He’ll ‘be Back to Normal’

June 5, 2018

By Jason Mastrodonato

Boston Herald

HOUSTON -- Dustin Pedroia will turn 35 years old in August but he’s still under contract with the Red Sox for three more seasons.

Taking a long-term view of his most recent knee injury is necessary.

Despite a setback that limited him to just three games before he was placed back on the disabled list for a second time this season, Pedroia spoke to reporters over the weekend and vowed, “I’m going to be back to normal.”

“It just might take a little time,” he said. “Last year, if I didn’t have surgery, it wasn’t going to get any better. It’s going to get better. So, just stinks going through it.”

To put his age in perspective, there are only six current full-time position players 35 or older -- Shin-Soo Choo, Edwin Encarnacion, Albert Pujols, Nelson Cruz, Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler -- and five of them are designated hitters.

But Pedroia is expecting to be a full-timer again soon. The doctors originally told him, “you’ll have new tread on your tire and you can go crazy again” after undergoing cartilage restoration surgery last October.

One year earlier, he had part of the same knee removed in order to limit discomfort.

The second knee surgery was supposed to address long-term concerns.

But something happened on Thursday in Houston that caused him to suffer even worse discomfort in a different part of his left knee.

“Not one time had I felt anything in the (area of the) major part of the surgery that I had,” Pedroia said. “All the feeling was where I had the microfracture when I had any kind of discomfort, which was normal. Even when I was in Florida doing stuff or the games I played in Pawtucket, even the first two months of my rehab, I never felt anything in that area. So, to feel it now is a little weird. But I’ll see the doc and see what he has to say. It could be just normal or scar tissue or something, but that’s it.”

Pedroia will visit Dr. Riley Williams III at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York tomorrow for another look.

“I think just the frustrating part was the whole time I never had an issue in one spot in my knee,” Pedroia said. “And I didn’t until the day after I had an off day, and I was just warming up. So, it kind of hit us all at once.

“It feels a little bit better (yesterday).”

Questions over whether Pedroia rushed himself back to action too quickly were put to rest.

“I mean, we didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “It’s not like we didn’t test it enough. Trust me. We made sure. When I was in Florida, I was on the field for six hours making sure if we played a five-hour game, it was an hour more on the field.”

There is evidence that the surgery was effective given the three games he did play. He was moving well around the infield -- “better than I saw him move last year,” according to manager Alex Cora.

“That (third) game, I ran through all of it,” Pedroia said. “The first inning, I think I caught a ball at second and tagged Curtis Granderson. Then that play I made and threw it to Rick (Porcello). I think I got a hit. We had a hit-and-run and I ran to third. There was nothing. And even the next day, I woke up and felt fine. I was supposed to not play that day. That’s the part that was tough. Then I got here, and during stretch, I could feel something wasn’t right.

“So, I don’t know. It’s hard, man.”

Until the doctor gives Pedroia another look, nothing is certain. But the longtime franchise icon is intent on getting back to normal.

“We just go forward,” he said. “The end is going to be better.”

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