Kalish: 'It's been a tough year'

Kalish: 'It's been a tough year'
September 6, 2012, 4:38 am
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SEATTLE -- After undergoing two separate surgical procedures last off-season -- one on his neck last September; a second on his left shoulder last November -- Ryan Kalish thought he was through with the tedious rehabilitation process.
As it turns out, there's more work to come. But Kalish knows it's the only way he can return to 100 percent health and re-start his career.
Following the two surgeries, Kalish essentially missed most of spring training and didn't play in a game until May. He was called up to the big leagues in June, but since then, his 2012 has been a back-and-forth exercise between the minors and majors and between feeling well and feeling injured again.
Even now, a full year removed from the first surgery, Kalish's availability is day-to-day.
"Every day's a little different,'' said Valentine. "A lot of times, it's after he (takes batting practice) that we know (whether he can play that day). It's a real fine line. When he feels great, I don't mind playing him. When he feels less than great, I feel guilty playing him.''
Kalish is dedicated to finding the proper rehab program this off-season to get healthy, once and for all.
"This is my chance to get back to the old me -- the strong, athletic guy that just comes into camp ready,'' said Kalish. "I feel weak right now. My body is tired. These two things intertwined. I need a break.''
For now, Kalish goes about trying to get ready every day. It has not, he admits, been easy.
"It's just tough to keep (the left shoulder) strong,'' he said. "Then, in the midst of all that, I've had a little bit of neck pain; my right shoulder overcompensates and now that's tired. We're going to continue to grind (for the final month) as much as I can help out there.
"But I'm really, really excited to get down to a little bit of rest and recovery and a strong workout plan.''
The hard part is acknowledging that he has essentially lost two years of development time. At this point, the Red Sox expected he would be part of their everyday outfield alignment; instead, Kalish waits to see if he's physically up to playing.
"It's been a tough year,'' he said. "I kind of feel like it's been two years (that he's missed). But I'm confident in my abilities. If I'm healthy, I don't think much can stop me. But that remains to be seen.''
And will only be seen after another off-season of rest, and yes, more rehab.