Avisail Garcia is glad to be in the clubhouse with his teammates but he hasn’t started watching White Sox games again.
The outfielder, who had season-ending surgery on his torn left labrum in April, has been receiving treatment and rehabbing with the team at U.S. Cellular whenever the White Sox are in town. But he hasn’t come to grips with sticking around for the team’s games, nor does he watch them on television, preferring to get updates through his phone. For now that’s how Garcia said he copes with a season of development lost to injury.
“I don’t watch the TV because it’s too hard,” Garcia said. “I want to be there. I want to play. That’s why I don’t watch them.”
Garcia made comments late last month to MLB.com he hasn’t given up hope he could play again in 2014. But the young outfielder backed off that stance when asked about his timeline on Tuesday afternoon. When it occurred two months ago, injury expert Will Carroll said the timeline for a torn left labrum is normally 6-8 months. Hypothetically that would have Garcia on the field in mid-October.
General manager Rick Hahn confirmed Tuesday that Garcia’s timeline hasn’t moved up nor does the team expect him to play again in 2014.
“Whatever the team wants me to do I will do,” Garcia said. “If I can play, play. I’ve just got to wait. I’ve just got to come here every day or Athletico to work on my shoulder and see what happens.”
Garcia said the biggest disappointment is he finally had a chance to receive steady playing time. He also is upset to not be in the lineup with Jose Abreu, whom he describes as amazing. Garcia, who injured his shoulder when diving for a fly ball in right field in Denver on April 9, plans to play the same way when he returns, though he might be more cautious.
But he’s mostly trying to focus on the road ahead instead of the past two months. And no, he tries not to watch the replay of the dive, either, having seen it just once.
“It’s hard but I’ve got my family here,” Garcia said. “I just try to spend time with them and have fun. I’ve got work to do so you’ve got to have fun. Don’t think about it much what happened, just what happens in the future so that’s the most important right now.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I was with the Tigers so I didn’t have too much playing time there. So I came here to get a chance to play every day and then I got injured. It’s tough but just believing in God and getting strong in my shoulder.”
Eventually Garcia will start watching games again.
He knows there’s value in watching Abreu or former teammate and friend Miguel Cabrera.
But that will come closer to when he returns to the field.
“I don’t watch right now too much because I don’t feel good watching the game right now,” Garcia said. “But you’ve got to learn how they’re going to pitch you so whatever team you’re going to face, you’ve got to know how they’re pitch you.”