FORT MYERS, FLA. – While his teammates prepared last week for the upcoming baseball season, Miguel Sano sat in a hospital bed 1,500 miles away, watching television to fight off boredom. It was an unwanted slumber party.
“It was difficult. It was disappointing at the time, but I understood the process,” Sano said after returning to Twins camp Wednesday, following a six-night stay at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “I didn’t think [his foot injury] was going to become such a [big] deal. I thought it was going to be good right away.”
Instead, he’ll miss all of spring training and at least a month of the regular season while the horizontal cut on the back of his right leg, just below his Achilles, heals and he works to regain his playing shape and catch up to his teammates. When the wound, suffered during a championship celebration in his Dominican hometown Jan. 26, kept reopening and became mildly infected, the Twins finally sent him to Mayo a week ago to have it repaired once and for all.
Now that he’s back in camp, Sano will wear a specially designed boot, called a Multi Podus System, that keeps any tension off the cut when he walks. The boot will stay on until the sutures are removed, probably on March 29 — one day after Opening Day at Target Field. Sano can’t do any physical activity until then except upper-body work.
“It’s easy to be frustrated,” said Sano, who was cheered up by his family’s presence, and a phone call from former teammate Joe Mauer, while hospitalized. “But after going through all these processes, I just want to move forward and think positive about it. It’s a long season. I’ll probably miss the start of the season, but it doesn’t matter. Four months of the season, I can help this team, I believe.”
The Twins’ third and final split-squad day takes most of the non-starters to Sarasota to take on the Orioles, with Chase de Jong on the mound, while Martin Perez starts in front of most of the regulars against Washington at Hammond Stadium.