Jayson Werth spoke at length on Wednesday about his rehab, his wrist and what the last 10 weeks have been like for him. A lot of what Werth said about his rehab (he’s expected to start a rehab assignment on Friday with Single-A Potomac) is in the story on the main sports page.
But a lot of what Werth said didn’t make it into the story, either, and I wanted to share some of his thoughts on the Nationals’ season and what it’s been like for him to watch it evolve the way it has.
On what it’s been like to watch the past 10 weeks: “It’s been interesting. I don’t remember the first week.But the second week, I was sitting at home watching the games when the team was on the road. You see the game from a different perspective, really. You feel really removed. It’s not a good feeling. It’s not fun. It’s not enjoyable. It’s not vacation. It’s like purgatory. It’s not where you want to be, that’s for sure.
But it’s been fun to watch these guys. We’ve got a really fun and exciting team. In that regard, it’s been great. They’ve been playing good and it’s been fun to watch. That’s one thing that people locally have something to look forward to every night: the amount of talent and the personalities and the different characters we have on the team, it makes for an enjoyable evening of baseball. In that respect, it’s been great. With that said, I’m ready for it all to be over.
On if there will be a mental hurdle given his wrist history: “It is the same wrist, but it’s not the same injury. I could tell, it’s really totally different. Mentally, I’m fine. I haven’t really worried. It’s a lot different, too, when you have a guaranteed contract, you’re on a team. You know when you come back you’re going to have a job. When I got injured (in 2005), I didn’t know if I was going to play again. I didn’t know if I was ever going to get another opportunity to play. Opportunities are few and far between in this game. That was a big aspect to get over in my last rehab. I don’t have those worries. I don’t have that sort of thing. My focus has been on staying in shape and trying to help the team any way I can. It’s been a different deal. It’s been totally different. I didn’t ever have a sense it’s going to be a career-ending thing. I haven’t really had that kind of negative thing to deal with, other than having to deal with not playing.
On what the process has been like: “It’s just boring. I think there was a week there, a couple weeks ago, where it was like, ‘Man.’ At the same time, the thing they said to me is it’s at least 12 weeks. It takes X amount of time for it to heal, and then you got to get the motion back, it depends on your range of motion and the strength. There were a lot of things that had to transpire before I was going to be ready. But early on, like two weeks after the surgery, I almost had full range of motion. When I went to (the Mayo Clinic) at six weeks, they were like, ‘Oh, my, you’re doing great.’ I always had that kind of reassurance that I was way ahead and I was doing good. There wasn’t a whole lot of negative during the process.
On if he’d push to be ready by the July 31 series against the Phillies: “Nah. I want to get to a point where I’m ready to play up here. I don’t want to be a detriment to the team because I’m trying to play hero and come back early. I want to be able to play when I come back. In ’05, I got misdiagnosed. I knew I wasn’t right, but I was told that I was fine. I knew that I wasn’t fine. The production just wasn’t there. I had an injury, and I was trying to play through. I’ve done that before. The team is playing good. There’s no reason to come up here before I’m ready to go.
On his thoughts on the season and what’s ahead: “I’m excited. I mean, this is a great opportunity. It’s a great time in Washington baseball history. I want to be a part of it. I love what’s going on. I love our team. We’ve got a great group of guys. When I got hurt we were in first place and I hope to come back in first place. That just goes to show you the type of team we’ve got and the way we’ve been playing. Everything’s working. I just want to come back and just be a part of it.
“It could potentially be (the most fun year). I don’t know. I feel like there’s going to be a bunch of fun years in the near future here.
“But you know, you build chemistry and you start cultivating what it is to be a winning team and that’s what we’re doing. That’s a big, big part of it. As time goes on and we had a chance to keep this team together for a long time. Everybody’s young, except for me, and that’s a good thing. This is that part of this team’s progression right now. We’re building relationships and chemistry that could go on for the rest of our lives. This is a fun time. This is what it’s all about right here. Hopefully you build on this year. You become a better team. The more you play with each other, the more you learn each other, that’s when it gets fun.”