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July 16, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Beltre works out with team: “I feel better than I thought”

Adrian Beltre, who had left shoulder surgery on June 30, has decided to continue his rehab with the team. Today he played catch for the first time, though he says he still feels pain when he raises his arm.
“That’s my biggest concern,” he said.
He doesn’t have a timetable for his return, but he definitely envisions himself playing in the second half.
“I’m trying to get my range of motion back,” he said. “I’m feeling better than I thought. Maybe next week – the beginning of next week – I’ll start taking ground balls. I’ll see how it goes. After that, maybe the week after that, I’ll start hitting. I’ll see how it feels.”

Beltre said it’s “too early” to pinpoint a target date for his return. Doctors said it would be six to eight weeks, which places the earliest return at about mid-August.
“I still have motions I can’t do yet,” he said. “It all depends on that. If the pain goes away, and I get my motions back, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to come back quick. There’s still some movement I’m not able to do without pain.”
He said the doctors were surprised how much scar tissue Beltre had around the bursa sac when they went in to remove bone spurs.
“He said that’s probably why the pain was more intense. There was no room between the bursa sac and the bone spurs to move. Every time I’d move it would be sharp pain. They said everything in the procedure went well.”
The goal of the surgery was to leave Beltre pain free. Will that be the case?
“Who knows?,” Beltre said. “You never know with surgeries. As long as I can do everything baseball-wise, offensively and defensively, without major pain I’ll be all right. Sometimes surgery takes a little longer than six weeks or a year to get better. Sometimes it takes a lot longer, and you have to play through it.”
While he was home, Beltre said he watched every game on television.
“I saw all of them. I didn’t miss a beat. I saw the Gutierrez homer. I’m proud of him. He went through some struggles at the beginning, but his swing looks so nice. He was really big the last two weeks. Hopefully, he can stay like that. He was really the guy, the last couple of weeks, that’s been the big hitter.
” It was kind of tough watching them on TV. I’m happy to be back to be a cheerleader for them.”
Beltre praised the work of Chris Woodward, his primary replacement until the recent acquisition of Jack Hannahan.
“Besides the first game in New York, he was terrific. He made really nice plays, especially that one slow ground ball with a broken bat. He got the ball and jumped over the bat. He has to teach me that play, because that was really an amazing play.”
Beltre said his plan is to remain with team. “At home, I was doing my rehab, but it was hard to keep myself in shape. It’s better to be here, cheerlead for team, and get my work done.”
I asked him if he was confident he’ll be back at some point in the second half.
“No doubt. That’s why I did it this year, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be back. Hopefully, it will be 100 percent, and I’ll be able to help the team, because our team is doing really good now. We have a really good chance to win the west. The race is really close, and it’s wide open. That’s what make made my decision tougher. I know our team is winning, playing good, and we have a really good chance to get really hot in the last 2 ½ months of the season, and who knows what will happen.”

Comments | Topics: Chris Woodward


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