When starting pitcher A.J. Burnett turned down retirement in favor of another big league season with the Philadelphia Phillies, this is not likely what he had in mind.
Instead of playing golf and kicking back, Burnett is dealing with a hernia that forced him to leave his start early last Friday. The team initially thought it was a groin injury.
On Monday Burnett indicated his intentions to pitch through the injury. From John Finger of CSN Philly:
If he doesn’t feel any pain, he’ll be OK. At least that’s the way Burnett will approach it while hoping to pitch this season — including Wednesday’s outing — with a small inguinal hernia.”
If he is able to deal with the pain, he would be forced to do so for the rest of the season. The crazy part? Burnett wonders if the pain of the hernia will actually help him:
I’ve pitched with worse. I don’t come out of games a lot. The other night was more of an uncertainty because I didn’t know where it was coming from. I didn’t know if it was hip, groin, whether I tweaked something or pulled something. Now that I know upstairs what I’m dealing with, I can deal with it a lot better…
…I threw yesterday and it was night and day better. It actually helped me stay within myself. That might be a blessing in disguise, you know?”
I don’t, actually. I really really don’t.