During this last summer in 2014, I was pitching in one of our local home town talent league games. I was having a very successful game... Until I made one possibly life changing pitches. This pitch was a slider in warm ups... Yes warm ups, during my 5 pitch warm up before the next inning started. I went to go throw a slider, and i could hear a very uncomfortable feeling in my elbow, like a crunching noise. I threw the slider as if i were opening a door completely.. A complete no no, and a complete accident. After that slider, I knew something was wrong. The pain wasn't significant, so I continued to throw. My velocity dropped, and every time I release the ball I would get a tingling/soft pain in my elbow. The pain wasn't enough to make me drop to the ground, but it was enough to make me realize there was something majorly wrong with it... I finished the inning somehow, with little to no control. I will never forgive myself for throwing that slider incorrectly. I hate myself for it.
The following few days after that I had limited range of motion with my arm, such as extending it, or bringing it back such as if I were to to try to flex. I followed that up with a trip to the doctor to see a specialist. Two weeks was the soonest I could get in. The specialist told me 6 to 8 weeks of rest, and than begin to slowly work into throwing again. I took the 6 to 8 weeks off from throwing, but I continued to lift weights. Lifting weights is a no no, in which the doctor forgot to inform me about. I try to comeback after 6 to 8 weeks and throw about 20 pitches in a live game. The first 15 pitches felt good, but buy the time i got to the last few I felt very awkward with my arm. So I called it quits for the rest of the summer.
Fall ball rolls around, which is about 2 months down the road from this happening, and coach allows me to throw, limiting me to around 3 bullpens at 80%., and no live throwing. My bullpens go very well at 80 percent. I even let a few go near max 100%. Everything felt pretty good.. and normal.
I rest all winter long, and practice begins around January 11. I throw 4 to 6 pens starting at 70 % to 90% as I continue to work back after injury. I throw live for the first time, going 100%. I worked very hard to get my velocity up this winter, by doing Olympic lifting, and by bulking up. My velocity was back. Throwing harder than ever in late January. I would guess at least a low 90's ball in there somewhere. I went onto strike out 6 of my 9 batters. My next pen 5 days later, I wasn't feeling quite myself. My arm felt good, but control and body didn't feel right.. Coach had the radar gun out that day, but I didn't even see it. Around my 38th pitch I threw a slider, not my first. I threw many before this. I threw this one correctly. I go to release it, and pop. I hear a pop, and feel a pop. My teammate and assistant coach both heard it. I played it off for another pitch because they thought it was my wrist. I went from 89 (found out after practice) to upper 70's (Educated guess coach wasn't clocking me than). Went to trainers etc...
Now here I am again on day 1. I have seen a specialist, but this time I took it much more serious. I got an MRI. They could not confirm it was a tear, they think its a tear. So i had to return for another MRI for a better shot because I moved during one of their shots. Got that result back and it was a labeled as a probable small UCL thickness tear. My specialist, believes that I can recover without surgical treatment. My healing process goes like this:
Week 1 -2 Brace 24/7 even when im sleeping
Week 3-4 Brace 24/7 but dont have to where when im sleeping
Month 2 and 3. Physical Therapy
Month 4 Throwing Program to see how my arm responds and healed.
IF this doesnt work.. Surgery.
I have already redshirted this year... but if this doesn't work. This will be very devastating, as I will have another year that I will miss. I get fitted for my brace tuesday, and may push for a PRP Injection for reinforcement of the healing process.
Do you think this is the right approach? Anyone have similar stories? Should I push for TJ on tuesday? Just thoughts would be great...
I am taking a different approach this rehab. I now know the details of my injury, and wont be lifting weights with my arm is a brace for a month. Plus correct rehab. Doctor seems confident that it will heal on its own.. I hope so.
Very lengthy Post. I apologize. I wanted to share my story. I probably still forgot some details.