BOSTON (CBS) — Following the 2017 season, Dustin Pedroia underwent surgery. After losing almost an entire season, he’s wishing he chose an alternate route.
Though Pedroia — who spoke to the media in Fort Myers on Friday — said explicitly that he doesn’t regret his choice, he admitted that with the benefit of hindsight, he would’ve made a different choice if he could go back in time.
“I wouldn’t have done it,” Pedroia said of the surgery. “I just, I mean, I don’t regret doing it. But looking back and knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it. You know what I mean?”
The cartilage restoration surgery was complex, and somewhat experimental. There was no proven track record or road map for getting back onto the baseball field. Pedroia did return last season in May, but he went back on the disabled list after playing just three games. He’d miss the rest of the season.
Pedroia said some alternate options were available at the time that he opted for surgery.
“Yeah, change rehab styles, treatment styles, things like that,” he said. “It’s a complicated surgery. I mean, the cartilage in my knee is great now, but the graft is the thing. You’re putting someone else’s bone in your body. To get that to incorporate fully, there’s so many things that going into it, I didn’t know all that stuff. I thought they were like, oh you tore this, we can fix it. I was like oh that sounds great. But I didn’t know … I didn’t go to medical school. Probably could have, but … .”
When asked if Pedroia could ever get his knee back to 100 percent, he politely informed the reporter that such a result is impossible.
“Could I get my knee to 100 percent? Well [shoot], it ain’t even my knee, man,” Pedroia answered. “It’s somebody else’s, bro.”
As for getting back on the field, Pedroia said he looks forward to teaching his children a lesson about overcoming adversity.
“I think that’s the most important part for me coming back is my kids, man,” Pedroia said, after joking that he’d never play through age 41, like Tom Brady. “They’ve seen what I’ve gone through, and I’m all over them all the time. If they’re getting a bad grade on a test or something, you’re always trying to tell them about adversity and that life’s not easy. If I do what I want to do, I think that’ll be the best part, is seeing my kids see me go out there. I think that’ll be pretty special.”