Sizemore focused on yet another comeback

Sizemore focused on yet another comeback

Sizemore focused on yet another comeback
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As a variety of injuries have continued to pile up over the past few years for center fielder Grady Sizemore, his motivation to prove that he can return to full strength and rejoin the Indians has increased.

"The longer you're away from the game," Sizemore said on Thursday morning, "the more you want to get back. It's frustrating, and it's hard to watch the guys out here playing and having fun."

Sizemore stopped by the Indians player development complex on Thursday and spoke for the first time since undergoing surgery on his lower back on March 1. He is expected to miss at least two or three months.

Before Spring Training officially began for Cleveland, Sizemore tweaked his back while fielding ground balls as part of his rehab from a right knee injury. The outfielder suffered damage to a disk in his lower back, which in turn caused nerve issues that led to decreased feeling and strength in his left leg.

Sizemore attempted to alleviate the issue through a conservative rehab process, but a lack of improvement prompted the decision to go ahead with the surgery.

"After the surgery, from what the doctor said, it was the right thing to do," he said. " ... This way, we at least fixed the problem and I can come back as soon as possible. We didn't want to waste six to eight weeks trying to rehab it and then find out I still need surgery."

Right now, Sizemore's rehab includes strengthening his left leg. It will take some time before he resumes exercises that focus on strengthening his core and lower back. Sizemore's right knee rehab will be included in the eight- to 12-week recovery process as well.

"I've had a lot of obstacles to overcome here, a lot of injuries," Sizemore said. "But that's part of the problem. You injure part of your body and you try to rush to get back. In baseball, you don't have a lot of down time. It's a small offseason, so when you have major surgeries and rush those things, a lot of times you can hurt other parts of your body.

"I'm not saying that's what happened here, but when you have bad knees and you're trying to recover from that, you kind of put stress on other areas of your body. It's one of those things where I have to get to this point where I can play at 100 percent and not try to play at 85 percent or 90 percent and risk injuring other parts of my body."

Through it all, Sizemore is trying to stay optimistic about his chances of returning within the announced recovery period.

"All the doctors I talked to said there's a great chance that I'll fully recover," Sizemore said. "There's not a lot of risk, but the recovery part of it is kind of all based on you. Everyone is different. The rehab progresses as long as you're able to do it. It's kind of how strong you are and how you're moving. So, it's not set in stone."