Among the injuries the Los Angeles Dodgers have absorbed this season, losing Corey Seager for nearly three months was arguably their most challenging to overcome.
Seager managed to avoid what might have been season-ending surgery to repair a fracture in his right hand, and the initial projection was he would be out for an estimated six weeks. The road to recovery wound up being full of obstacles and followed no linear path.
The 2020 World Series MVP began to make steady progress toward being activated off the 60-day injured list prior to the All-Star break. However, he experienced soreness in the right hand and got delayed.
After spending the week playing in games at Camelback Ranch, Seager was activated ahead of the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He understandably expressed excitement to be playing again and frustration with how the process went, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group
“I had some setbacks. I had some things that didn’t feel as good as I wanted them to. It was unfortunate. Unlucky, for sure,” Seager said Friday. “They (the mending bones) just weren’t growing as fast as you want them to and it was causing irritation and soreness. I probably could have (played sooner) but it wasn’t worth it. You don’t want to come back for a game and then something happens. It was one of those things where it didn’t respond the way we wanted it to.”
“It was very frustrating,” he said. “I got close a couple times, played some games and it wasn’t right. You want to be right when you’re out there. It was unfortunate. But I’m ready now.”
Seager went 2-for-5 and made multiple defensive plays in his first Major League game since the middle of May. “Seager looked fantastic,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“There was that play int he six-hole, a really nice play. I thought the at-bats were really good. Didn’t miss a beat, a couple big hits and I thought he took really good at-bats. … I thought he looked fantastic. It was good to have him back.”
In part because the game went over four hours, he was not in the lineup Saturday night but is expected to start again in the series finale.
Seager fortifies Dodgers’ struggling infield
Seager’s return provided a much-needed boon to the middle infield. The Dodgers have had to play musical chairs in his absence, with Gavin Lux forced to fill in until he was injured, and then Chris Taylor taking over.
Max Muncy had to shift back and forth between first and second base; and Albert Pujols, who was initially thought to be a role player to come off the bench against left-handed pitching, started more games at first base than many expected.
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