01/18/2005: And can one hear collective groaning across Cardinal Nation?
We're hearing reports (The Birdwatch, the Post-Dispatch) that Albert "the Great" Pujols's problems with plantar fasciitis are still an issue, despite non-surgical treatment over the off-season. This can be worrisome, since it is apparently too late for Pujols to opt for surgical treatment without missing playing time this coming season, and, as befits a player with Pujols's work ethic, Pujols has indicated that he has no intentions of sidelining himself this season. From the Post:
"I've tried everything that I can (and) I haven't had success with anything I've tried," Pujols said Monday at the Cardinals' Winter Warm-Up. "What made it real better was the (sound-wave) treatment I had a month and a half ago. If I have to do it again during the season and miss two or three games, I'm going to do it. Because - I'm telling you - I'm not going through the same pain I went through last year. I don't think my body can handle it.We (not entirely disinterestedly) wish Albert the best in coming to terms with the problem.
Earlier this winter, Pujols opted not to have surgery, preferring the non-invasive procedure OssaTron. Similar to the process used to demolish kidney stones, OssaTron bombards the irritated tissue in the foot with sound waves to encourage healing. The first treatment went so well, he and doctors chose not to have the scheduled second session.
Pujols ran pain-free for 10 days, Weinberg said Monday morning, and there was "dramatic relief." Pujols said the pain, though not to the degree he experienced during the season, has started to return as he works out toward spring training.
That second session now looks probable.
"It felt good for a while and last week or so it's been bothering me a little bit," said Pujols, who is entering his fifth season with career averages of .333, 40 home runs and 126 RBIs over his first four seasons. "It's something that I'm pretty sure I'll go through again this year because it's too late to do surgery.
"Been running for a while (and) I'm pretty sure that's part of it," he continued. "It's too late right now to think about (surgery). I have to make sure I'm ready to go for spring training and make sure I'll be ready for April. If we need to do surgery, I don't want to do it now. I don't want to miss spring training. I don't want to miss the first month and a half of the season.
"That's too late."
Len on 01.18.05 @ 08:40 AM CST