D-backs’ Steven Souza Jr. feels ‘fantastic’ after rare baseball injury
When the Arizona Diamondbacks traded for outfielder Steven Souza Jr., it was expected he would be a big part of the outfield.
Then a pectoral injury reared its ugly head not once, but twice.
The biggest concern, however, wasn’t the amount of time he was injured, but the injury itself.
“The unique thing about this injury was that here’s no one really to blame for anything because from every doctor we heard, no one had seen this injury in baseball ever,” Souza told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station Wednesday. “A torn pec like this is a weight room injury, it’s a football injury. The way that it happened, it doesn’t happen on the baseball field so it was extremely rare.
“We talked to two doctors who deal with a lot of injuries and they had never seen this in a baseball uniform so to be able to kind of dictate what is going to hurt, what’s not, there was a lot of up in the air and I didn’t really know how I felt or what to compare it to, but I know at the end of the day everyone did their best.”
Souza began his stint with the D-backs on the DL with a strained right pectoral muscle. He didn’t make his debut until May 3, but only managed to appear in 14 games before heading back to the disabled list with the same injury following a May 21 game.
And while Souza said it was a mistake to try to come back early, he is ready to go now.
“At this point right now, I feel fantastic,” the outfielder said. “The training staff’s just done an absolutely amazing job of getting me back to 100 percent.
“Now it’s just about getting the groove, getting to know some of these pitchers — I never faced half of these guys — so I’m racking up information to be able to go out and execute for the team.”
Souza’s return couldn’t have come at a better time for the D-backs either.
Just as he was making his way back to the lineup, fellow outfielder Jarrod Dyson went down with a groin injury.
Since returning back to the team July 5, Souza is hitting .143 with three hits and five RBI in 64 at-bats (five games). In the team’s July 6 win over the San Diego Padres, Souza’s presence was felt. He drove in two runs, the go-ahead in the sixth inning and the another in the eighth, that ended up being the deciding factor in the 3-1 win.
And after going through such a rare injury for a baseball player, Souza has a plan if it were to resurface.
“Knowing how I feel now, there’s a lot more to go on the next time around if something were to happen,” Souza said. “I didn’t know what I was going to feel like, I didn’t know if I was going to be back to normal ever, I didn’t know if it was suppose to feel different the rest of my life.
“The second time around we just did an unbelievable job — we did an unbelievable job from the beginning — it was more on me … I just needed to be a little more patient.”