Test cancels homecoming

This has been a rough day. I was all psyched to go home to Arkansas, to Little Rock, and play for the Travelers there this weekend in rehab games. But today I didn’t pass a strength test after a strenuous workout on the field, and it looks like I have to change my plans.

I know everyone in Little Rock was excited about me coming back to play, and I was excited, too. It would have been great. But the resistance test the training staff put me through showed that my right side, where I have the adductor muscle strain, is still not as strong as the left side. They want me to be close to 100 percent when I come back, and I’m probably between 85 and 90 right now.

I’ve never been 100 percent my whole career, so I don’t even know what that feels like. I’m used to playing no matter what, which is why, in a way, I’m in this situation now. Looking back, I should have taken more time off after I ran into the wall in San Francisco on June 15. I played two days later, and it was too soon. If I could do it all over again, I would have asked for more time off, but it’s too late now.

Seven days, something like that, is what I needed. That’s what they’re fighting right now – my ego and pride. They’re telling me to set it aside and let this heal completely. We’re winning, so there’s no need for me to force it or rush it. I understand that. But I’m an athlete, and athletes burn to compete.

The plan now is for me to go back to Anaheim and continue my rehab there this weekend. It’s not really a setback. But it’s disappointing for me, because I want to get out there. I wanted to go to Arkansas and play there, but it looks like they’ll be on the road when it’s time for me to play some rehab games.

I actually had a good workout today. I ran the bases well, first to third, and ran out of the batter’s box. I felt good. But the test showed I’m still a little weaker on the right side than the left.

Since we’ve been winning, and Gary Matthews Jr. has been solid – better than solid, really – in center field, they can afford to be extra careful with me. Gary’s a terrific athlete and is getting a chance to show what he can do. I’m happy for him. It’s not easy to sit around, not playing every day, and then to go out and do it, and he’s been getting the job done in center field for us.

What makes it so hard is that I was swinging the bat so well. I was having my best season offensively, and I was better defensively, too. You hate to come out when you’re going good, which is why I kept playing even though the adductor was bothering me.

It finally hit me that Saturday in Arizona, 12 days after I hit the wall in San Francisco, that I just couldn’t go any more. I sat at my locker after that game and couldn’t move. I remember talking to Lyle Spencer of MLB.com, and him telling me that I wasn’t right, that something was wrong with me. I knew it. I was just in a daze, I was in so much pain.

I’m doing a lot better now, but I guess I’m not quite ready to get on the field. I’m trying to look at this in a positive way, that when I do come back, I’ll be stronger than ever and able to carry it all the way to the finish. That’s the way I have to evaluate it. It’s all about how you finish, not how you start. I love this team, and I want to be there for these guys when it really counts.


  1. beesgal

    That’s the spirit! Apply that competitive will to your rehab sets and come back stronger than ever. The team will need all of its big bats, not to mention golden gloves, down the stretch. Good luck Torii! . . .BeesGal

  2. monkeygal

    Torii, we sure do miss you on the field! You were a fantastic addition to the Angels and I hope you’ll be playing here for a long time. Can hardly wait to see you play again, but take care of yourself–that’s your number one job right now!

  3. yasumoto

    That competitive spirit is what keeps you going man. Get healthy and take advantage of some rest; when you come back you’ll be ready to unleash for the rest of the season.

  4. swimhottie@sbcglobal.net

    Keep up the good work Torii!! You’re a huge fan favorite and we wouldn’t want you getting hurt again if you come back too soon!! Take care! Can’t wait to see you in the game again soon!

  5. angel6smg@aol.com

    Keep getting stronger. My daughter and I are huge fans and miss you on the field. We are praying for you every day and can’t wait to see you back with the team. In the mean time thanks for the blogs and your positive enlightening attitude. You are the best!

  6. carmine

    Torii I know all of the true fans miss you more then anything. But, in being a true fan we all want the best for you. And, the best right now is to get yourself healthy for the play offs and for the series. We all know that you will be there in the end. But, if you are not healthy your will be back on the DL. Please have faith in your abilities and know that once you are back you will be right back where you left off. I will keep you in my prayers for a speedy recovery. We are looking forward to the day that you do come back out on the field.

  7. iheart5

    Haha, well, Torii, I can’t say I’m an Angels fan as I fully support my Rangers. But don’t stop reading yet lol.
    I’d just like to let you know that even though you are on a rival team, you are one of the players that everyone I talk to likes and respects. Personally, you’re my favorite Angels player (along with Vlad, of course), and even though I’m a Rangers girl I hope you get well soon. I know firsthand how frustrating being injured during a season can be, so I wish you only the best.
    By the way, this is my favorite pro blog. đŸ™‚

  8. sandeegee

    Hi, Torii. I know it would have been wonderful for you to rehab in your hometown with family and friends. But my daughter and I enjoyed seeing you in Rancho Cucamonga with our Quakes. We attended “Bark in the Park” with folks from the R.C. Animal Center. Would you like to adopt a dog? Best of luck in your rehab!

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