Jake Diekman was back in the Rangers’ clubhouse Thursday, looking even skinnier and sounding a little worn out as he recuperates from the second of three ulcerative colitis surgeries to remove and rebuild his colon. The final surgery is scheduled for June 9, back at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The latest surgery, the most extensive of the three, has left him sore and about 10 pounds lighter. Diekman, however, was bound and determined to get back to his teammates once they returned to Arlington from their road trip. Instead of the typical five to seven days post-surgery recuperation in the hospital, Diekman bailed after three and a half days. He’s taking pain medication to curb the soreness around holes in his abdomen used to insert drainage tubes.
“I’m just really freaking sore,” said Diekman, who blamed the pain meds on a rash of random Amazon purchases, including onesies for his dogs and an indoor putting green and five putters. “I was ready to get home. I was super bored.”
Diekman says he’ll begin throwing two weeks before the final surgery to get a head start on his rehab . And then, he predicted, he’ll be throwing again by the end of June. That’s about half the time doctors have told him he’ll need to let the surgery properly heal.
“They told me six weeks but that’s not happening. It all depends on how you heal and what your pain tolerance is because you’re going to have a hole the size of an [eyeglass] lens in your stomach ... but that would put me way behind for what I imagine in my head.”