Washington Nationals’ second baseman Daniel Murphy joked with reporters this winter that he didn’t want to put a timetable on when he would return from cartilage debridement and micro-fracture surgery on his right knee.
“I don’t want to put any timetables on it,” he explained, “because if you miss them, you guys get really fishy when stuff like that’s happened.”
It’s safe to say that the 33-year-old infielder, who hoped to be ready for Opening Day at that point, didn’t expect at the time that he would still be working his way back in the first week of May.
Murphy provided an update on his progress a day after he returned from the Nats’ facilities in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“It’s been about two weeks since I had worked with the medical staff here and [team doctor Harvey Sharman],” Murphy explained before Wednesday night’s game, “and so they wanted to get eyes on me, see where I was, and kind of evaluate my progression and get an idea of where to go moving forward from that.”
Daniel Murphy says his rehab is progressing. "Baseball activities is pretty full go on. Still working on trying to run and get that squared away."— 106.7 The Fan (@1067theFan) May 2, 2018
Davey Martinez said he tried to encourage Murphy to take the time he needs to get back on the field.
“I told him, you’re coming along,” Martinez said, as quoted today by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes. “This injury takes time. Just stay with it. I’m glad he’s here.”
Murphy’s own take on where he is in his progression?
“I feel pretty good,” he said on Wednesday. “I hope today that I’m closer to playing than I was two weeks ago, and so it really is the rehab process, continuing to strengthen, get my baseball work in, and then evaluate the next day how I feel.”
He’s not quite there, however, Murphy acknowledged, explaining that he’s not necessarily surprised by how long the process has taken, though he is a little frustrated it’s taken this long.
“I think any rehab process is going to be unique to the individual,” Murphy said, “so I’m not necessarily surprised about anything that happens. I think a level of frustration is probably reasonable for me to say about me right now. I want to play. I see these guys competing so hard each night, [and] to not be able to do that with them is frustrating.”
Until he’s able to run without discomfort, however, he’s not going to return so he can avoid getting into a situation where he ends up back on the DL.
“I only want to come off the DL once,” Murphy explained. “I’ve said that before. I’m no good to anybody if I come off and I’m limited and I can’t play on a daily basis, and the team kind of has to carry me as a passenger, so I want to be prepared [so] that when I come off the DL I only have to do it once.”
As for what he’s experiencing when he’s running now?
“I still had a little bit of a hitch in my giddyup, so I’m not running the way I would if I were 100%,” Murphy said.
“There’s probably a little bit discomfort if I run, if there wasn’t then I would probably be running a little more normally.”