Six weeks removed from surgery to fuse cervical discs, Texas Rangers’ Prince Fielder doesn’t have too many creative ways to kill time in the summer.
The rehab he is doing is focusing on his neck, hip and shoulder, he said, but he doesn’t have a schedule yet on when he can pick up baseball again.
“I’m motivated, but I just want to heal first,” said Fielder, who spoke with the media for the first time since his surgery on May 27. “I’m not trying to push anything. That’s what got me into this situation now so I’m going to be a little smarter.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he doesn’t look at losing Fielder for the rest of the season as being cheated.
“You can’t really sit around thinking about what could’ve been because you’ve got so many things you have to try to straighten out right now,” Washington said. “We do feel that he’ll get a full recovery and if that’s the end of this year, going into spring training next year it’ll be full. Hopefully, he can stay healthy for us and continue to produce as he as in the past.”
Between rehab and his family, Fielder is trying to make the best of his time off the field.
“I can’t play so there’s no reason to walk around pouting about it,” Fielder said. “Enjoy more time with my family and just, I think I’m appreciating the game more as far as it just being fun, you know, not really worrying about results anymore.”
It’s the first time since he was a young boy, Fielder said, that his summer wasn’t filled up playing baseball. He’s been able to spend more time with his family, which is a plus, he said. He’s also currently featured in the buff in ESPN The Magazine’s The Body issue. He said he wanted to show people that you don’t have to be ripped to be a professional athlete.
“You don’t have to have a six pack to play sports or be good or be an athlete so I figured I’d give it a shot, see how it looked,” he said.
He’s not struggling, however, to find things to fill his days.
“My kids do enough of that,” he said. “My wife sends me on errands here and there so I’m doing a lot more stuff like that, but it’s fun. Like I said, I’m trying to make the best of it. I mean, I can’t play so there’s no reason to walk around pouting about it.”
Said Washington: “He’s very happy to have all that pain out of himself. He’s looking forward to the time he can get back on the field and help us.”