Rays OF Fernando Perez says diving catch attempt in spring training likely caused left shoulder injury, too

19

November

Turns out, Tampa Bay Rays OF Fernando Perez's attempt at a diving catch in spring training last season cost him more than he originally thought.

Perez, 26, dislocated his left wrist on that play in March in Port Charlotte, which led to surgery and him missing most of the season before joining the Rays in September. But Perez said his left shoulder injury (to his labrum), which he had surgically-repaired in October, likely occurred on the same play.

So how come he didn't know until later? Perez said doctors told him that with a labrum tear, if you have long periods of inactivity, it can feel like there is no injury, and the pain may not be as noticeable until you become more active. It was only when Perez was doing serious baseball activities in the season's final couple months where he realized something was wrong.

The speedy switch-hitter, who had a good chance to crack the 2009 Opening Day roster until he injured that wrist, batted .206 in 18 games.

“When I began working out again, we all assumed the pain was referred pain from my wrist,” Perez wrote in an email to the Times. “But once I got some confidence that I wasn’t injured, the more ambitious plays I attempted in the outfield told me I had something I ought to get checked out.”

Perez said while surgery wasn’t ideal, it was necessary, and he expects to make a full recovery by spring training. He said he recently got out of his sling and will rehab in New York until the new year.

-- JOE SMITH

joesmith@sptimes.com

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:52am]

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