FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Standing by his locker with his right arm in a sling, Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish is still in disbelief that his career suffered another setback this winter.
Kalish had surgery in January to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder and he’s been told his rehab will take 4-to-6 months. It was his third surgery in just over a year. He already had a similar surgery on his right shoulder in addition to a neck operation in the fall of 2011.
“Honestly, I’ve been really down,” Kalish said Wednesday. “It’s been really tough for me. I really just want to play again. Obviously, I want to play in the big leagues, but at this point I’m just tired of being hurt.”
He began last season on the disabled list while he rehabbed from the previous surgeries, but he eventually returned and split time between Triple-A Pawtucket and Boston. He was shut down last September when the pain in his left shoulder became too much. He eventually had an MRI and the tear was discovered.
The first course of action was rest and strengthening during the offseason in hopes of avoiding surgery. He was feeling better and thought he would be able to make it through the winter without going under the knife, but once he started to swing a bat, the pain came back and he had surgery in January.
“Eventually, after a couple of shutdowns, more strengthening and not swinging, as soon as I picked up the swinging, it hurt again,” he said. “Eventually, I just got tired of it and I had to make a call and say, ‘Listen, I just can’t do this anymore.’ The pain is one thing, but the other is my head. It’s been a crazy ride ever since 2010. I just need to get healthy.”
Physically, he’s feeling better.
“It’s better now with the surgery,” he said. “Obviously, mentally it’s a little different. I’m happy I got it fixed because it just wasn’t working. It was too much pain, too hard to play with. It wouldn’t have been good for me or the team, so it was definitely time to do it.”
Once he’s healthy, he’s hoping to resume his once-promising career path to the majors.
“Once you have the two shoulders and the neck, I think it’s time to be right -- I hope,” Kalish said.