Endy Chavez was in the clubhouse today on crutches, greeting teammates with a big smile. He will undergo surgery Thursday to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee, a devastating injury as the result of colliding with shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt This was our first chance to talk to Endy since the indident on June 19..
“It’s better,” he said. “At least I don’t have the pain that I had before.”
The immediate pain from the collision, he admitted, was excruciating.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “I knew something was wrong because it was so painful that I couldn’t even move my leg. I knew something was wrong in there. The pain was terrible. Now its just uncomfortable because you can’t do anything with it.”
The surgery was delayed to make sure the swelling was gone. He’s hoping to be back in nine to 12 months, which might be overly optimistic considering the extent of the injury.
“They say it just depends how the surgery goes and how my body reacts to it,” he said. It’s tough. This is the first time I’m down in my career where I’m done with the season and not even have a chance to start the next season. Its tough. It’s something I have to go through and get ready to get back.”
I asked him to recount the play, asking him if he had called of Betancourt.
“No, no, no. When I saw the ball, I got in my mind to dive for it. I saw Yuni at the last time and I said I’m not going to dive for it now. I tried to stop but I can’t get out of the way in time. So I tried to catch the ball and prepare myself to get hit. The next thing I found out I was in the air.”
He seems, in fact, to absolve Betancourt of any blame.
“That’s part of the game. I know we were playing hard and Yuni attacks the ball pretty good, too. Theres no way he can call me off and no way I can call him off. It’s something that happens in the game. Its something you are not expecting. But it’s in the air and anything can happen in baseball games.”
I asked him if the doctors have told him he will get his speed back eventually.
“He told me I will,” he said, smiling. “So I’m with him.”