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After 3 years of և almost 2 years of recovery, Mitch Hanniger plays baseball with the Marines again

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PEORIA, Ariza. – Mitch Hanniger is not the type to let a moment, good or bad, good or bad, regret or ransom, failure or victory overcome him. Mostly stoic, always standing, fully focused when he was on the baseball field, Hanniger was jokingly called a baseball cyborg, half human / half robot, with sailors in his early years, as everything seemed to be on a level. seriousness և intentional, which did not seem at all human.

“Amazing is possible, isn’t it?” Knowing the step, Sieger nodded. “She is OK with everything. Everything he does in baseball has a purpose. He takes everything so seriously. You noticed it right away. ”

But these last 20 plus months have proved that Hanniger is too human.

He was in pain, most of it physical discomfort. He was angry and frustrated by the injustice of all that was beyond his control. He kept his faith to overcome everything, except for the rare moments when he could not help but ask his reasons for believing in it. He lost faith in the process, he trusted people, he developed skepticism about everything related to the game. He rejoiced in the slightest victory, while forcing himself to restrain his joy, knowing that there must be more. And he rekindled the love of the game և the breath of competition, which can sometimes weaken when it is taken away from you.

Hanniger does not think he will shed a tear when he jumps out of the T-Mobile Park emerald turf with his first teammates on Thursday night, or maybe if he gets a decent position. Standing by 9,000 fans as he bursts into the dough box to start the first floor. But he could just feel everything he had felt in the past 665 days, being built in his stomach, in the knot in his throat, forcing him to break the field front of his stone face with a tear in his eye or a smile on his face.

“It will be interesting and fun,” he said before pausing for a moment to imagine the moment. “I’m sure there will be a lot of emotions.”

For the 30-year-old Hanniger, that means a lot.

Of course, he did a trial period in the spring training games. But like the results of spring training games, there is a difference when it comes to games that count.

“Obviously, these (spring training) games seem like real games, but they are not the same,” he said.

Sitting in the backdrop of the Mariners Complex, Henniger was given a full day off from baseball, but at the same time he showed up for a workout, hit the box, and then openly talk about what he lived and did. waiting for this season և after that.

It was in the T-Mobile brawl on June 6, 2019, when Henniger’s baseball career fell through at its worst, costing him games, millions of potential revenue և time he would not receive.

Haniger, who was grazed that Thursday afternoon, suffered a horrific injury that few people knew about at the time. He did not even know the gravity of the situation.

Hanniger lost 0-2 to ou Astin Verlander. Later, after a scout report, Verlander tried to bury a fast ball in Hannier’s hand և, if necessary, was placed on the next slide. The ball bounced off the middle of the plate and went on. Hanniger undertook to swing as soon as possible; the bat came out of its head early, hit the ball under the barrel, redirecting it directly to the area of ​​its defenseless groin. It brought him to his knees and he felt a pang of pain in his face.

Did it just really happen?

As Hanniger did not wear a protective cup, the impact of baseball put him in immediate trouble. Houston hunter Robinson Chirinos saw what had happened, asked for time, politely visited the land, allowing Hanniger to recover, realizing a little humanity from the enemy.

People forget that Hanniger did not come out after that field. He finished the bat despite the dull pain in his stomach. He did not chase the expected sledge on the next playing field, but after that he swayed and missed the slide in practically the same place.

He stayed in the game, waiting for the shock to spread. Instead, the dull pain in his groin and stomach slowed. Vazel was in pain. It was impossible to bow. On five more pitches, after challenges ranging from excruciating to excruciating pain, he asked to be removed from 3-3 games in the seventh game. That way you know what the difference is between a Hanger and an injury. ” If he’s just injured, he keeps playing. But when the anxiety did not subside, he knew he was hurt.

Hanniger was later diagnosed with a torn testicle that required urgent surgery, and later a further procedure, which was also previously unknown.

“I have seen the video of it several times,” he said. “But I do not go back, I look at it. Why would I want to watch that? ”

That messy game led to career chaos.

Hanniger was still waiting to play in 2019. He made many attempts to return only to be tempted. It started with anxiety in his core / groin area after a day of field training in early July, which included jogging և field training. It was not just weakness or tension from the surgery. he was suffering from an adductor muscle tear / sports hernia, which was not detected վեց confirmed only months later.

Recovery որոշ After some time of recovery, Hanniger tried to return in late August. This time he felt pain in the lower back, which moved down, in the back of the leg, the sciatic nerve.

It became clear that in 2019 there will be no more returns! Seattle shut him down to focus on the 2020 season.

There was a perception that Hanniger was too strong to return, which led to failures. That’s something he thinks is not fair.

“I’ve always just listened to people,” he said. “And many times, I just did what I was told. And now I’m labeled a boy who can not stay healthy. “

In fairness, his injuries to the Marines are more lenient than guilt. He suffered a soft tissue injury in early 2017 that kept him out of 42 games since he was acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks after the 2016 season.

“I have never been a boy with a soft tissue injury,” he said. “I do not pull feet or squares.”

He broke an undisclosed finger in a failed attempt on July 15, 2017, and missed four games. Nine days after his return, he fired a 95km / h ball from Jacob deGrom at T-Mobile Park, which sent him off his injury list and kept him out of 18 games.

Haniger has entered that off-season goal of recovering in 2020.

They said. “All the off-season, ‘tighten your core, tighten your core,’ while my back just gets worse, because this tear is already there,” he said. “Those tears were there in late June, early July. And that led to my back injury in August (2019). “Your core is like a balloon. If there is a leak, it will not support it.”

In August, Hanniger went to see a spine specialist, Dr. Robert Watkins, for problems without knowing the nucleus was damaged. That’s why Watkins thought it was just the main weakness of penile surgery.

“He’s not a key guy, so he didn’t paint my pelvis,” Hanniger said. “I never had MRI on my pelvis in June, July or August. And so they just kind of fell under the radar. ”

After the shock session in late January 2020, his abdominal and back pain increased too much.

“I could hardly walk,” he said.

The damage in its main area was revealed by MRI. He was operated on by Dr. William S., a sports hernia specialist at the Winchera Institute in Philadelphia. Meyers to restore sports hernia tears. But it turned out that the surgery does not correct the problems of back pain.

“You are recovering quickly from that operation, you are relaxing,” he said. “I could not sit on the wall for three days after my recovery. I was like. “My foot kills me.” You have to have an MRI of my back. ”

A full MRI scan of his back revealed a ruptured disc that looked like a “sashimi cloth.” He immediately underwent a microdiscectomy.

The voices and tone of the Hangers make them cry, get frustrated, even angry.

There were cases when he asked: “Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this tragedy? ”

“That from time to time it has happened,” he said. “But will I just hit on the past or just focus on something that can get me back to where I want to be? And it came back on the field playing well. You can just run around in circles thinking about what could have been done, what could have been done differently, what situations could have been done differently. It does me no good. ”

He turned to his wife, Amanda, to relax.

“I do not know how I could have gone through that without him,” he said.

With only 60 games in 2020, it made it easier for the Marines to cancel their return and focus on 2021.

He crushed his recovery և recovery process in typical Haniger fashion at the end of the epidemic. He focused his energy on grilling and smoking the meat of various horses. He read books on a variety of topics, nurturing his desire to “stay in the beginner’s mindset, to be open to new things.” You always have to keep learning. ”

“I get all the suggestions for my book from him,” said his agent, Adam Carnon.

Hanniger had no back problems this spring. He played in 17 games և is like all the stars like he was in 2018, when he played 157 games.

“Probably the biggest challenge was learning to wear a ribbon every day,” he said.

He knows that sailors will be careful in their use. But he has his own goals, which include playing 150 to 155 games with the rest of the striker.

“I want to play almost every day,” he said. “I think I will reasonably have a few more days there to make sure I spend the whole season and be able to stay the best.

If he can do it, he knows he can be sold. He has seen teammates reach their current age of arbitration status, being sent to other teams in exchange for young prospects. He knew that after the 2018 season, the sailors were trying to sell him with Kajar.

“No one is banned,” he said. “I have been sold twice. I know how it works. I’m just happy to play baseball. That’s what I can control. “

Heniger laughs at the idea of ​​looking more humane now and enjoying the game more.

“I missed it,” he said. “The same thing does not happen when you are in a training room, not on the field.”

Maybe he will drown on Thursday. Maybe the emotions and knowing what he overcame during the long, confusing, difficult return is too much. But he never doubted that would happen.

“The most difficult thing was to give in at the time, because I knew I would return to 100 percent, I will do my best to return to the past or even better,” he said. “I just did not know how long it would take. But I came back. “

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