CINCINNATI — Luis Robert’s torn hip flexor will take three to four months, if not longer, for a full recovery, but it’s an injury that shouldn’t affect him after it heals properly.
Robert will not have surgery, the team said Friday. Following consultations with a number of specialists, it was determined rest and rehabilitation would be the appropriate course of action for a full recovery. Robert, who suffered the injury Sunday, was expected to be away from baseball activities 12-16 weeks with or without surgery.
“Without knowing the exact particulars [of the tear], more often than not he’s going to get back to playing at or near the same level,” said Brian Schulz, a sports-medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon with the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute and a team physician for the Angels.
It was puzzling to some that Robert could tear a muscle running a straight line to first base with no contact. Several factors may have played into it, Schulz said.
“These athletes are so long and so fit,” Schulz said, “and he’s going from 0 to 100 almost immediately and the forces that are going through at the time, if his muscles aren’t warmed up or maybe he was just a little tight that day from the workload he had the previous day, who knows? Those forces are so great that sometimes the muscle can’t provide the support that it needs to.”
Sox assistant general manager and director of player development Chris Getz said there was no indication of “something that was nagging” Robert that would have led to the injury. The Sox are examining the injury from all angles, he said.
“With any injury, we do a deep dive and then analyze, was there something that perhaps caused this?” Getz said. “In Luis’ case, we are talking about one of the more explosive players in baseball and probably all of sports.”
Schulz said patience in Robert’s recovery process will be key. There is no way to speed up the healing process.
“It takes that long for these tissues to heal,” Schulz said. “Especially with a muscle injury, if you push too early you run the risk of going right back to where you started.”
An update on Robert’s progress will be provided in approximately eight weeks, the Sox said.
Adam Eaton got through a full first month without getting achy legs but he’s now dealing with a sore knee, which got him the afternoon off Wednesday. Manager Tony La Russa said Eaton also has a tight hamstring.
“I’m old, I’m old,” joked Eaton, 32. “But I’m OK, it’s all part of the grind.”
Eaton is second on the Sox with 16 runs scored and 18 RBI but is hitless in his last 19 at-bats, dropping his average from .268 to .211.
“Sometimes when I’m banged up I play better, so maybe turn it into a positive,” he said.
“It’s a good day for him to rest and then rest [Thursday, an off day],” La Russa said. “Need to keep him fresh because he’s very important.”
Leury Garcia started in right with Billy Hamilton in center.
Votto breaks thumb
The Reds’ Joey Votto broke his thumb when he was hit by a Dallas Keuchel changeup in the fourth inning. Votto was replaced at first base by Kyle Farmer in the sixth inning.
Votto, who has been hit 61 times in his career, is not expected to need surgery but could miss up to a month.