Today is supposed to be the start of another comeback for Jurickson Profar.
The Texas Rangers second baseman is recovering from a torn muscle in his right throwing shoulder that cost him the entire 2014 season. Profar is expected to throw in front of the Rangers front office and medical staff on Monday and let them know he’s on the road to recovery.
“No I feel good, the best I felt,” Profar said recently. “Right now I feel very good. It’s not a big deal, it’s just, I know I’m going to make it.”
Profar first injured the shoulder last year playing winter ball and it never got better. It was so bad that he woke up one morning in Surprise, Ariz. and had to text the trainer because of the discomfort.
The Rangers medical staff tried all sorts of methods to help him return in 2014. Flexibility training, weightlifting to build more strength in the shoulder, rest and light throwing all helped in the long-term but not in the short-term.
Profar just needed a year of recovery.
Surgery was an option, but he elected to bypass it and continue the rehab by building strength in the shoulder area, throwing a medicine ball, lifting weights, simulating throwing and resting.
In an offseason that’s been more about players recovering from injuries than about signing free agents or making major trades, Profar is almost at the top of the list of players the Rangers need to see something from.
“I just want to play,” he said. “Last year was a terrible year. I don’t know how I made it, but I did.”
The business of baseball moved on without Profar. He was the projected starting second baseman and his injury enabled Rougned Odor to take the gig.
During the year, Odor produced a slash line of .259/.297/.402 over 114 games and was named the Rangers’ Rookie of the Year.
Profar had to sit and watch and wait it out while he lost his season.
This offseason, there were rumors the Rangers wanted to trade veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus but Profar’s injury prevented that because he wasn’t ready to play. Rangers officials put the rumors to rest with strong statements committing themselves to Andrus. It’s almost silly to mention Profar’s name in trade talks with the man being unable to throw a baseball, and with team officials knowing when spring training starts next month, he’ll be behind the rest of the group.
The last time Profar played full-time was 2013, hitting .234 in 85 games.
“A lot of my teammates tell me it’s hard to come back in the beginning,” Profar said. “It’s the big leagues so you have to prepare yourself, but I’m ready for anything.”
Today it starts.