Dustin Pedroia wishes he hadn't underwent knee surgery after the 2017 season, the Red Sox's second baseman told reporters on Friday.
Pedroia, who reported to camp early this offseason, had cartilage restoration procedure on his left knee after playing through discomfort in 2017. The procedure involved grafting cartilage from a cadaver to fit in the damaged area.
"No, I wouldn't have done it," Pedroia said of the surgery. "I don't regret doing it, but looking back and knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have done it.
"It's a complicated surgery," he added. "The cartilage in my knee is great now, but the graft is the thing. You're putting somebody else's bone in your body. To get that to incorporate fully, there are so many things that, going into it, I didn't know all that stuff. I thought, 'They were like, you tore this, we can fix it. Great.'"
Instead, Pedroia wishes he had pursued other forms of rehab after having to repair a torn meniscus following the 2016 season. The 2007 AL Rookie of the Year and 2008 MVP ended up playing just three games in 2018.
Pedroia, 35, said having time to recover during the offseason has him excited for the first full-squad workout on Monday.
"The human body can only take so much, so you have to let it heal," Pedroia said. "When I started going again, it was tough, but it wasn't like the year before. Maybe that's why I feel so good now. I healed up, got some rest, my body is recovered and I'm excited."
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the team expects to limit Pedroia to around 120 games this season. Pedroia hit .293/.369/.392 with the sore knee in 2017.