Shohei Ohtani to have knee surgery. Should we be concerned?
By David Rice
The 2019 season has been another injury-plagued season for the Angels. They have already lost Griffin Canning, Zack Cozart, and Felix Pena for the season.
The Angels have also had numerous players on the injured list throughout the season as well and even some who have not gone on the injured list but have missed multiple games this season (Mike Trout). You can add another player to that list as Shohei Ohtani has been shut down for the final two weeks of the season due to a knee injury he has been dealing with, but couldn’t bear the pain anymore.
Ohtani’s injury is a bipartite patella in his left knee. It is an unusual injury in that Ohtani was essentially born with two kneecaps in his left knee instead of one. According to Angels general manager Billy Eppler the condition is a congenital one that is very rare.
Ohtani has had the problem sine the beginning of the season, but for the most part it had not bothered him enough to cause him to miss any time. However, recently as Ohtani began to do more rigorous bullpen sessions in rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, the knee began to give Ohtani more problems until finally on Thursday the decision was made to shut him down for the season and do the surgery. The recovery time will be between two to three months, which means Ohtani should be fully recovered by next Spring.
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Will this hamper or delay his rehab from the Tommy John surgery remains to be seen? So should the Angels and their fans be worried?
Tommy John surgery is a very common procedure that many pitchers have gone through and many times the pitcher comes back even stronger after having the surgery.
However, in the case of the knee issue Ohtani has, it is a much more rare injury and so it is not as common of surgical procedure.
The fact that Ohtani is an elite athlete is both a good and a bad thing. The good thing is that he is stronger than many ordinary people so it hopefully should lead to a faster recovery. The flip side of this is that since Ohtani will put a lot more strain on his knees due to pitching it may cause another issue with his knee or legs. This definitely not something Angel fans needed to hear.
However, the Angels and their doctors seem confident that Ohtani will make a full recovery from this surgery and will be ready to go for the 2020 season. All I can say, is I hope so. The Angels desperately need Ohtani in the rotation come 2020.
Many Angel fans who tend to be negative will say the “Sky is falling” because of the Ohtani injury. I would say let’s take a wait-and-see approach and be cautiously optimistic. I don’t like the fact that Ohtani has this injury any more than you might be, but until we hear otherwise we need to have faith that Ohtani will make the full recovery as the Angels are anticipating.