Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche had shoulder surgery 10 days ago and reports the rehab process is off to a positive start, and that the shoulder is surprisingly mobile.
"It feels really good, actually," LaRoche reported with a protective cast and sling around his left arm. LaRoche even took off the sling at one point to sign a baseball and then put the velcro protective sling back on.
"I thought it would be a lot longer with not being able to move it much. We started rehabbing it two days after the surgery. They are moving it around pretty good and starting some new exercises daily. As good as it feels now it is hard to believe it is going to be six months, but I will take their word for it."
LaRoche has talked to many players who have had the same shoulder procedure that he had to undertake.
"There (are) people left and right that have had the same surgery," LaRoche said. "The biggest thing coming from them is stick to rehab. Do it as much as you possibly can and follow instructions, which is something I have never done well. This will be a good time to learn that."
LaRoche thinks he will have to wear the arm sling for two or three more weeks. Most of the rehab right now is the physical therapist taking his arm and putting it through different motions. He is doing hand crawls and other small exercises on his own. LaRoche said the sessions go from 90 minutes to two hours five days a week.
"They are taking it pretty slow with what they let me do without their help," LaRoche said.
He said baseball activities will begin in four months and he should be at full strength and game ready by six months. That means LaRoche will have a "good couple months to get my weight back and my strength back." He anticipates being 100 percent healthy for spring training 2012.
Despite not being able to play, LaRoche said he likes watching his teammates go on a hot streak to get back above the .500 mark.
"It was fun to watch," LaRoche said. "That is just a product of everyone believing that we are really good and not letting the first month and a half to two months ruin our season. Guys realized how good we were."
"You see what a run like that could do to the positive attitude of the team, but also in the standings. It put us right back in there. It was tough to sit back and be a cheerleader for all this, but it is a lot easier when we are winning than sitting and watching losing."