***The following article was written by Micker Adolfo, an outfield prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, as a guest of FutureSox. This is part of our Prospect Perspective series: articles written by the players themselves, ongoing since 2014. In this article, Micker takes us through his injury, setbacks and recovery from Tommy John surgery, as well as what is next for him. We hope this story gives our readers a unique view into a player's perspective on life in the minors.***
Ups and Downs, by Micker Adolfo
2018 was a roller coaster ride of emotions.
I get invited to my first big league camp and then a couple days later I started to experience some pain in my throwing arm. It was a sharp pain that wouldn’t go away and I felt it got worse as the days went by, so I decided to speak up. Anxiously waiting for the results, they weren't what I was expecting. The results came back with me having a partial tear in my UCL (ulterior cruciate ligament, in the elbow).
Not too happy with the outcome of the MRI, I felt as if my soul left my body. But a second opinion would change that, because I could continue hitting without causing further damage to the ligament. I didn’t really know what to feel at the time because surgery was something that was still a possibility. But I was happy with the second opinion because I could continue getting better as a hitter even if that meant playing half of the season.
It was definitely something new for me because I never DH’ed - I was always playing right field. It was a challenge and I accepted it and knew that from that challenge I would come out on top.
When the season started it was cold so I always had to keep myself active by doing sprints in between innings, and stretching. Playing with that group of guys in Winston-Salem was so much fun because everyone had each other’s backs and wanted everyone to do well.
About three months into the season [last game was July 6th] I took a trip back to Chicago where a new MRI would reveal that my UCL was almost healed and from there I would start a throwing program to have me playing the field in a month. Everything was going good in my throwing program until the very last day, right before I was going to go back and play the outfield. I felt that pop during infield-outfield drills, and then I knew surgery was going be needed.
I flew out to Cincinnati to Dr. Kremchek at Beacon Orthopedics on July 16 for my surgery. The process is definitely tough. The hardest thing is to regain full range of motion but I definitely feel stronger than before and continue pushing towards playing the outfield soon.
My rehab still consist of strengthening and maintaining my range of motion. I should be throwing pretty soon, probably within the next six weeks. Hitting progression is part of it as well, which I’ve started with dry swings for now. I still have no exact ETA but I’m hoping I won’t be out for much longer.
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