Last week, my son's baseball career flashed before his eyes after an awkward swing during an indoor winter practice had him clutching his elbow. The elbow swelled immediately and turned purple.
|6 yrs old|
|7 yrs old|
|8 yrs old|
|9 yrs old|
|10 yrs old|
|11 yrs old|
|12 yrs old|
|13 yrs old|
As we drove home from practice, my son iced his arm. I could see the worry in his eyes as he stared straight ahead without saying much. I felt so sorry for him.
Baseball is his love. In fact, he recently started some grueling work outs with a personal trainer to increase arm strength. He also started working with a baseball trainer to improve his throwing mechanics. Ironically, he was doing all of this to avoid arm injuries.
He has had arm injuries before. At age 10, he broke the growth plate in his elbow while he was pitching. That healed fairly quickly, but while the elbow was healing, his shoulder became weak. The shoulder weakness led to shoulder pain. He battled arm discomfort off and on. Last year, he was injury free and he was really looking forward to a breakout year in 2012.
We had to wait to call for an appointment with an orthopedic because his latest injury happened on a Sunday. The ice and Advil seemed to eliminate the swelling and discoloration. The pain was minimal. Still, we made an appointment to see the doctor.
The doctor suggested an MRI and it took a week to schedule the MRI. During that long week, my son wondered if he would be playing baseball in the spring or recovering from surgery.
Fortunately, the MRI came back negative. There was no bone or ligament damage. The swelling and discoloration was the result of a minor bursae sac issue. I was thrilled for my son and, quite frankly and selfishly, for myself. I love to watch him play and get a sense of pride from his accomplishments.
My son's baseball career was back on track and he was back in the gym the day after the results came back.
The Main Point
All dads know how unlikely it is that their son will make the pros or even play in college. To make it, a player needs to be a very special talent, be seen by the right people at the right time and stay healthy.
Every time I think about how unlikely it is that my son will advance in baseball, I also consider that every college and pro ballplayer has a dad who wondered the same thing. So there is a chance. The results of the MRI kept those slim chances alive.