RECOVERY WARDS

March 26, 2012

ON AVERAGE, 38% OF BIG LEAGUERS LAND ON THE DISABLED LIST EACH SEASON, THEIR BATTING PRACTICE AND BULLPEN SESSIONS REPLACED BY REST AND REHAB. THIS YEAR SOME BIG NAMES ARE MAKING COMEBACKS AFTER MISSING ALL OR MOST OF 2011. HERE'S WHAT'S GOING ON IN THEIR MINDS AND—WITH THE HELP OF THE ARTISTS AT THE VISUAL MD—IN THEIR BODIES

JOHAN SANTANA

SP, METS

INJURY: TORN ANTERIOR CRUCIATE CAPSULE

GAMES PITCHED IN 2011: 0

ON TAKING IT SLOW IN SPRING TRAINING: "WE'RE STILL BUILDING UP PITCHES. ONCE WE GET TO 80 TO 90, AND DO IT EVERY FIVE DAYS, THAT'S WHEN WE'LL SAY WE'RE GOOD. THAT'S WHAT I'M FOCUSED ON RIGHT NOW."

ON HOW HE'LL KNOW HE'S BACK: "YOU'LL SEE IT OUT THERE WHEN THEY SWING AND MISS. IT'S ALL ABOUT [THE HITTERS], THE WAY THEY APPROACH, THE WAY THEY SWING. IT'S NOT ABOUT HOW HARD YOU THROW."

ON FEELING RELIEF WHEN HE FINISHES AN OUTING WITHOUT PAIN: "EVERY TIME. EVERY DAY IS IMPORTANT. AND EVERY TIME I GO THROUGH EVERYTHING, IT'S A DAY CLOSER TO COMING BACK."

STEPHEN STRASBURG

SP, NATIONALS

INJURY: TORN ULNAR COLLATERAL LIGAMENT

GAMES PITCHED IN 2011: 5

ON HOW HE FEELS NOW: "LIKE IT ALMOST NEVER HAPPENED. [WHEN I] THROW, IT FEELS SO MUCH MORE NATURAL NOW THAN IT DID COMING OFF THE SURGERY. MY MIND'S A LOT CLEARER."

ON PITCHING WITH A SURGICALLY REPAIRED ELBOW: "I DON'T WANT THE SPECIAL TREATMENT. I WANT TO GO OUT THERE AND GIVE IT EVERYTHING I HAVE. I'M GOING TO GO OUT UNTIL THEY TAKE THE BALL OUT OF MY HAND."

JUSTIN MORNEAU

1B, TWINS

INJURY: CONCUSSION

GAMES PLAYED IN 2011: 69

ON THE HARDEST PART OF BEING HURT: "NOT BEING WITH YOUR TEAMMATES AND NOT FEELING LIKE YOU'RE GOING THROUGH WHAT THEY GO THROUGH. YOU HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER AS A TEAM, GOOD TIMES AND BAD. AND WHEN YOU'RE ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU'RE PART OF THAT."

ON FOLLOWING THE TEAM: "I WAS CONSTANTLY CHECKING THE BOX SCORES. BUT [DUE TO CONCUSSION SYMPTOMS] THERE WERE TIMES I WASN'T ABLE TO SIT AND WATCH THE GAME FOR MORE THAN TWO OR THREE INNINGS. THAT MADE IT DIFFICULT AND STRESSFUL."

ON WHAT HE'S LEARNED: "THE GAME LOOKS SO MUCH EASIER ON TV AND FROM THE STANDS THAN WHEN YOU ARE ACTUALLY PLAYING IT."

KENDRYS MORALES

DH, ANGELS

INJURY: FRACTURED LEFT ANKLE

GAMES PLAYED IN 2011: 0

ON HIS LOWEST MOMENT: "GOING THROUGH A SECOND SURGERY WAS THE TOUGHEST PART. YOU ALMOST COULDN'T SEE THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL. THAT WAS THE MOMENT WHERE I WENT, MAN, AM I REALLY GOING TO RECOVER FROM THIS?"

ON THE BEST REHAB ADVICE HE GOT: "A PHYSICAL THERAPIST TOLD ME, 'YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE PAIN. THE PAIN IS PART OF IT. YOU CANNOT GIVE UP.'"

ON HIS NEXT HURDLE: "GETTING THE CONFIDENCE BACK THAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE O.K. IT'S BEEN A YEAR AND A HALF SINCE FACING LIVE PITCHING, SINCE PLAYING, SINCE HAVING ANY RIGOROUS ACTIVITIES ON THE FIELD. IT'S JUST GETTING USED TO EVERYTHING AGAIN."

BUSTER POSEY

C, GIANTS

INJURY: FRACTURED LEFT FIBULA, TORN ANKLE LIGAMENTS

GAMES PLAYED IN 2011: 45

ON WHAT IT'S LIKE BEING HURT: "WHEN YOU'RE PLAYING, THERE ARE MORE THINGS YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THAN YOURSELF. BUT WHEN YOU'RE REHABBING, YOUR MAIN FOCUS IS GETTING YOURSELF HEALTHY SO YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE AGAIN."

ON THE HARDEST PART OF BEING OUT: "YOU PREPARE SO MUCH FOR A SEASON, THEN YOU HAVE TO TURN A SWITCH AND CHANGE YOUR MIND-SET. HAVING A TIMELINE MADE THE PROCESS EASIER."

ON A BLESSING IN DISGUISE: "BEING THERE WHEN MY TWINS WERE BORN. WHEN MY WIFE WENT INTO LABOR [IN AUGUST], THE TEAM WAS IN MIAMI, SO I WOULD HAVE BEEN HARD-PRESSED TO BE BACK IN TIME. I DIDN'T WANT TO GET HURT, BUT IT CAME AT A GOOD TIME FOR ME."

PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONPhoto Illustrations by THEVISUALMD.COMMIKE BLAKE/REUTERS PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONPhoto Illustrations by THEVISUALMD.COMSTEVE MITCHELL/US PRESSWIRE PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONPhoto Illustrations by THEVISUALMD.COMROB TRINGALI/SPORTSCHROME/GETTY IMAGES PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONPhoto Illustrations by THEVISUALMD.COMKIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT/US PRESSWIRE PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONPhoto Illustrations by THEVISUALMD.COMMITCHELL LAYTON/GETTY IMAGES

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)