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Teixeira: “Doctors told me it’s a classic baseball injury”

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It was pretty quickly overshadowed by the Mariano Rivera news, but Mark Teixeira did speak to reporters today for the first time since his wrist injury. We already knew most of the basics, but here’s Teixeira explaining some of the details.

[2]What exactly happened?
“It was really weird. (I was doing) the same things I do every day. I’ve been swinging with a weighted bat off the tee for the past four years now, just because I feel like it keeps me strong, it really loosens me up. I was swinging with my weighted bat. It was the fifth or sixth swing off the tee before batting practice on Tuesday. I just felt something kind of tighten up in my wrist and went into the training room immediately afterward.”

Did doctors bring up surgery?
“That doesn’t look like it’s necessary. It’s just a strain. The problem is, the doctors told me it’s a classic baseball injury; an overuse injury where I just have to let it heal. It’s not one of those things I can play through. And I can’t play at 70 or 80 percent because then you have the opportunity of completely tearing it and then you will need surgery. That’s why we have the conservative timetable of eight to 10 weeks because we really don’t know exactly how long it’s going to take, but it has to heal fully. … The doctors made it very clear to me they weren’t going to let me swing until I was 100-percent pain free. However long that takes, we don’t know. That’s why we have the conservative 8 to 10 weeks. We really don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to swing pain free.”

Need to do anything differently to maintain and protect it?
“I’m going to start taping my wrist. I’ve never really been someone who wanted to tape by wrist. I started taping my left wrist last year because of the little nagging thing I had last year with it. I’ll start taping my right wrist, and doctor also told me, stop swinging with the weighted bat. I swing twice as much as anybody as it is. This is just kind of one of those overuse injuries, unfortunately.”

Are you able to do other workouts?
“Absolutely. I’m starting to work out today. I went to the doctor this morning to get fitted for a special cast that I can work out in. It’s removable. I’ll be doing all kinds of cardio. I can start swinging with a one-handed bat here soon, taking groundballs soon. We’re going to let it calm down for a week or two, and once that calms down, I’ll be on the field in my cleats running the bases and taking grounders and swinging with one hand. I’m definitely not going to let my body get out of shape.”

Expecting a lengthy rehab once healthy?
“I won’t start from scratch. Once I’m healthy, once my wrist is healthy, I just need a couple of games to get my timing down. That’s the plan. I’ll be back in Tampa in the near future, taking groundballs, wearing those cleats, out running the bases, doing everything. I might actually have my body in better shape because I won’t be playing games. I’ll be able to do a whole lot of cardio and a whole lot of ground balls; one-arm swiniging. The only thing I need is a few games to get my timing back, and that’s the goal.”

Associated Press photo