The Los Angeles Dodgers lost Edwin Rios for the 2021 season when the slugger underwent surgery to address a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder, but he is expected to return for the beginning of 2022.
Rios started this year by going 0-for-32 before the team decided to place him on the 10-day injured list. One week later the Dodgers announced Rios would be undergoing season-ending surgery.
It was at that point the 27-year-old revealed he had been playing through pain and conceded it likely was one reason for his struggles to begin the season.
Although the shoulder trouble only appeared to affect Rios this season, he revealed on the “Holding Kourt podcast” that it was an issue since playing at Florida International University:
“I got labrum surgery my junior year in college, did my rehab there and thought I was fine. I always had some type of weird aching in my shoulder, so I always did my shoulder program and did stuff to try strengthen that thing. Over the years there were times it hurt more for a couple months, or it hurt and then went away with some treatment and stuff like that. It was just one of those things where this year I just couldn’t do it anymore.
“The treatment wasn’t working, I was having pain everywhere on it. I’m one of those guys that it takes a lot for me to speak up about something like that. I want to play. I worked my whole life to get to where I am today and I have a tough time going in there and saying, ‘Hey, it hurts.’
“With the Dodgers, it’s such a competitive environment. You’ve got guys in front of you, you’ve got guys being you, everybody is hungry and we’re always contending to win a championship. You just want to be a part of that. Sometimes you put your body and injuries on the back burner, just thinking about that next day and don’t think about your body until it’s too late. I feel like that’s kind of what happened to me this year.
“I was always thinking about the next day, pushing my body to the limit a couple times, just wanting to be great, wanting to be the best player I can be, but not acknowledging I was in pain and hurt. When we took a look at it, it was worse than we thought.”
Even while he has been dealing with the injury, Rios had some of the best pure power in baseball, which could prove key for the Dodgers upon his return. However, it also stands to reason that Rios might need a significant portion of the 2022 season to recapture his power swing.
Rios plans to come back stronger
Although Rios was frustrated he would be forced to miss the season, there was a sense of relief that he would be able to take care of the injury and plans on coming back better than he was before.
“I’ll be back,” Rios said in May. “We’re going to rehab this thing and I’m going to be back stronger. … The plan is to go to AZ, rehab this thing, get back to 100% and get back to doing what I do.”
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