Iwamura says he wants to stay with Rays after rehab
Akinori Iwamura, left, is driven to a press conference in a golf cart by George Hensley, right, at Tropicana Field Friday May 29, 2009. Iwamura was injured during a collision at second base in Miami earlier in the week. [JAMES BORCHUCK, Times]
Tampa Bay Rays 2B Akinori Iwamura hopes to return to the Rays next season after recovering from knee surgery. Iwamura is in the last year of his contract, the Rays hold a $4.85-million option for next season.
Iwamura said he hopes to return to field as soon as possible, that the knee injury was the most pain he had ever been in and after reviewing video of play said "I hope this doesn't happy to any other player."
Iwamura met with media Friday for first time since diagnosis of torn ACL and season ending surgery.
"I'd like to express my feeling that it hurts me a lot, not only physically but mentally, that I cannot play in the field and I cannot contribute to the team," he said through translator Tateki Uchibori. "But next year, I promise that I will be back for the fans and hopefully everything works out on my side, And I'd like to get back on the field as soon as possible. It's a disappointment for me at this point, but hopefully I'll get back and show you some quality baseball."
Iwamura said he doesn"t have anything to say to Florida's Chris Coghlan, who caused the injury. Iwamura said there was no way for him to avoid the contact as he was trying to turn a double play.