Peavy undeterred by pain, targeting quick return

Peavy undeterred by pain, targeting quick return
April 20, 2011, 11:55 pm
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Posted: 6:49 p.m

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A visibly relieved, though still a scad shellshocked, Jake Peavy chatted with the media in the Chicago White Sox clubhouse on Wednesday, and no offense to anyone, hes tired of meeting this way.

Ill be glad when Peavy Watch is all over, he said. I can promise you that.

As has become customary during his time with the White Sox, Peavy was delivering his latest injury update with frankness, honestly, and more than a little exasperation.

It was good news -- absolutely, it was good news, Peavy said. But its disappointing for me, personally. I felt I wasnt that far away -- I was feeling so good.

By force of circumstance, Peavy has become way too much of an expert on such things as detached muscles, scar tissue and mental strength, so forgive him if he sounds a bit clinical -- bordering on mechanical -- when discussing his circumstances.

To feel something close to what I felt right before I blew it out at the repair site was the disturbing thing, he said. But when everything checks out, its good. Theres very little fluid in there. We think its scar tissue issues that can create discomfort You think youve done something bad and then you take a huge, deep breath when you find out youve just turned some scar tissue over. It was painful, but at the same time Im very encouraged about the prognosis and looking forward to Mondays start being just a minor setback.

With typical frankness, Peavy described the terror he felt when the scar tissue ripping around his lat.

It happened right off the get-go, the very first pitch I threw, he said. I felt, for the first time in this whole process, I felt something going on. It was a pretty strong grabbing sensation at the repair site, where I was surgically put back together. I have not in any way, shape, or form while throwing a baseball ever felt that pain until the other night and it was disturbing to me.

I was hoping maybe it might be scar tissue, and tried to stay out there and throw some pitches. But when something goes wrong its hard to have any kind of command. The best way to say it is when I felt it last year, when my lat started going, right when youre turning loose the ball and it comes out of your fingers, I guess your lat and everything really starts to engage to slow you down. When that grabs you, thats a telling tale that I know its my lat. I can feel exactly where its at because it was the same thing I felt last year.

Just because Peavy has been well-prepped to expect some pain and discomfort doesnt make that pain and discomfort go down any easierespecially as the righthander has been bulldogging his way through the Cactus League and his rehabilitation starts.

The doctors did talk about scar tissues that people have when they come out of surgery, especially when its that big of an attachment like mine, Peavy said. I thought that on Monday but at the same time I gave myself about 15 pitches for it to get better, to work through it, and it was not getting better. It was going the wrong way. I couldnt let the ball go at that point so I just needed to take a step back. Its a hard thing to do, to walk off a mound, especially when you feel like youre so close to pitching in the big leagues. It will just be a few weeks longer, as frustrating as that can be.

When you have the major surgery that I had, the one thing I keep going back is the doctors saying, Jake when you have a major tendon repair it takes about a year. The doctor confirmed it yesterday: Im not guessing it takes a year, its proven that over years from ACLs to ulnar collateral ligaments its about a years process, 12-18 months for things to settle down and be as good as youre going to get. He goes Youre a few months shy of that right nowwere 10 months into this thing. Hes telling me to calm down, because Ive been pushing the envelope and think Im going to make some miraculous recovery.

However, in the category of miraculous recovery, Peavy is still well in line to beat even the most optimistic doctors estimates for his return to the majors. While the hurler still has an off-day on Thursday to recover, he plans to pick a ball back up for some light tossing in Detroit on Friday and is fully focused on missing just one start and not one day longer.

I would think so, he said. I really wont know that until I start playing catch and make sure everything has kind of subsided and gone away. I certainly hope a start next Thursday is the case.

Admittedly crushed to have missed his chance to open the next White Sox homestand April 29, Peavy is taking his setback in stride.

I dont know any other way to do it than to keep my head up and keep plugging away, he said. Before long, I think things will turn around and Ill be out there doing what I can do.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.