Last Thursday, Jim Thome received an epidural for the herniated disc in his neck. He said the doctors told him he cannot take part in baseball activities for 30 days after that, but he still is hopeful he can return to play for the Orioles in September.
“We got the MRI and it basically showed a herniated disc,” Thome said this afternoon. “It looks like I’m going to be out about 30 days of rest. Obviously I can continue to do my exercises in the sense of my low back. But baseball activities, you know, everything for about 30 days and then hopefully we’ll get back as quick as we can.
“With injuries, I don’t ever try to put a date (on the return) because that can always change for the plus and minus side. Unfortunately we’re dealing with this. We’ll get it over as quick as we can and move on, but be positive and do the best we can to get back as quick as we can.”
Is he concerned that by the time he can return to play healthy, there just might not be enough season to return for?
“The timing of that is a little bit skeptical in that sense,” he said. “But in maintaining my low back program which will keep me active in a sense that when I do start swinging, hopefully that will come quick. The timing is bad yes, but hope we can get this over as quick as we can.
“You never really can predict a true timetable. I know what the doctors told me. They said to make sure that for 30 days there are no baseball activities and after that we’ll reasses and see where we are at.”
Thome said he has had some good early returns with the shot he got a few days ago.
“After I got the shot, a couple of days later I felt good,” Thome said. “That’s a good sign. Up until then, when I was feeling the pain last week it wasn’t very comfortable, so getting that shot helped.
“It is (disappointing to be out). We’re in a pennant race, and you come over and want to help. These guys have had a great year, and I wanted to be a part of that. But, you have to have a good mental outlook on things. It is what is is. Sometimes you are dealt the card you are dealt.
“We have the month of September. Will it be all of September? I don’t know, it is hard to pinpoint a day and a time. Maintaining my low back program and keeping active with that will hopefully help me get back once I start swinging.”
It has somewhat been assumed that this will Thome’s last year in the major leagues. But he sounds like a player that doesn’t want to go out on an injury, and he was asked today if he is considering a return in 2013.
“Maybe. Maybe. I don’t want to say yes or no, but maybe this changes my thinking a little bit. Maybe I do want to play a little bit longer. I’m trying to get back and not worry about next year. I want to help us accomplish and reach some special things here. We’ll come to that once that time frame hits,” Thome said.