Friday, January 20, 2012

Nearly Recovered, d'Arnaud Looks Forward

The following piece originally appeared on one of my other internet homes, 1BlueJaysWay.

Back in October, we reported on a thumb injury that top Blue Jays prospect Travis d'Arnaud suffered while competing with Team USA. The reigning Eastern League Most Valuable Player felt a pop after "catching a ball wrong". The 22-year-old was soon diagnosed with a ligament tear in his thumb.

d'Arnaud, who was acquired from the Phillies in 2009 as part of the Roy Halladay trade, required surgery and has been rehabbing the repaired hand ever since, to get ready for the upcoming season.

According to the All-Star catcher he'll be ready for spring training and doesn't expect to miss a beat in 2012.

"My hand feels great," d'Arnaud said. "Rehab went well. I went to (the Sports Medicine Institute) in Anaheim, California and went for about two months of rehab. My thumb feels normal. Now, I just need to get accustomed to catching bullpens and such."

d'Arnaud was Philadelphia's supplemental first round draft choice (37th overall) in 2007.

En route to helping the Double A New Hampshire Fisher Cats lock down the EL championship, in 2011, d'Arnaud posted a .311 batting average with 33 doubles, 21 homeruns, 78 RBI and a league leading .542 slugging percentage.

The southern California native is already focused beyond recovery, as he's looking forward to having another big offensive year with hopes of more championship hardware.

"I'm feeling amazing and ready for the season to begin."
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