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D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock doesn’t regret handling of spring elbow injury

In this Friday, April 1, 2016, photo, Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock grabs his elbow after scoring on a hit by David Peralta during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Phoenix. Pollock emerged as one of baseball's best players a year ago. Now th Diamondbacks All-Star center fielder has to sit, rehab and wait after fracturing his right elbow in a headfirst slide into home Friday night. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
LISTEN: AJ Pollock, D-backs' OF

Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock feels frustrated for obvious reasons.

An elbow fracture that threatens his entire 2016 season will require surgery Tuesday. It’s his second broken elbow — the first in 2010 ended his season — and came in his first game back after missing much of spring due to elbow soreness.

“The strange thing, I do think (the fracture and the soreness are) quite separate, which is bizarre,” Pollock told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM before the D-backs’ Opening Day game against the Rockies.

Pollock didn’t feel return prematurely heading into Opening Day. Asked if he rushed back from the elbow soreness, Pollock said, “Absolutely not.

“The way it happened, it was almost someone saying, ‘Hey this is going to happen, go in, get it right, get it fixed,'” he added.

Pollock injured himself during the D-backs’ exhibition game Friday night by sliding into home plate, but he didn’t feel a break until pushing himself up to head toward the dugout.

“I’ve slid like that a million times. It was a simple slide and get up to go back to the dugout and high-five my teammates and felt a pop,” Pollock said. “Was hoping I maybe didn’t hear that correctly. Here I am.”

The timeline for Pollock’s injury recovery isn’t known prior to his surgery. Much of it will be determined by the healing process, Pollock said.

In the meantime, the D-backs will respond with 23-year-old Socrates Brito and regular infielder Chris Owings at center field.

Pollock sees the same opportunity for Brito that former up-and-comer David Peralta got when he joined Arizona two years ago following Pollock breaking his hand. Pollock also has confidence that Owings’ move will be easy because of his athleticism.

“It takes a little time to get used to it, but once you do there’s a lot less you have to worry about in the outfield,” Pollock said. “There’s a very short list of things you have to do right.”

While Pollock watches those developments, the downtime during his recovery might lead his mind to wander.

Why did he break a bone in his elbow for the second time in his career? And could anything have been done to avoid the latest injury?

“Anytime you do something twice, there’s going to be some frustration. I’m just going forward in the future. What I have going forward is someone I really trust,” Pollock said of his doctor, Dr. Don Sheridan. “I don’t want to second-guess what anyone’s done (with the 2010 injury treatment and rehab) but there’s a frustration level. There are times where things just happen and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. I’m very aware that easily could’ve been the possibility. I’m moving forward, man.”

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