PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - As the disappointment has diminished, Cameron Maybin can now marvel at his seemingly never-ending bad luck.
A year ago, the San Diego Padres center fielder tore the left posterior cruciate ligament, a rare knee injury. When he returned, he hurt his wrist and needed surgery again, ending his season after 13 games.
Maybin stood in front of his locker Monday and said doctors told him they knew of only one other professional baseball player, a minor-leaguer, to tear his biceps, Maybin’s latest injury. While it was determined he wouldn’t need surgery, he’s still expected to miss four to six weeks.
Does he feel snakebit?
“A little bit, man,” Maybin said.
Maybin hurt his non-throwing arm March 2 when he robbed the Dodgers’ Juan Uribe of extra bases with a diving catch. It was a play that defined Maybin’s hustling style that also brings detractors for the risks he takes.
It was, after all, a spring training game. And he hurt his knee a year ago trying to make a diving catch.
“I don’t regret for a second the way I play,” Maybin said. “That’s what got me in my position.”
But a few minutes later, Maybin acknowledged he needs to play smarter.
“I’ve got to find a way to take care of my body,” he said. “If that’s staying off the ground, if that’s going feet-first into a catch, a sliding catch, staying away from the balls a little bit more.
“I have to do what I have to do to take care of my body so I can play the majority of the season. That’s my biggest goal.”
The Padres thought they had their center fielder of the future in 2012 when they signed Maybin, then 25, to a five-year, $25 million contract. He had hit a career-best .264 with 40 stolen bases in 2011 and was starting to show the potential that led Detroit to take the Asheville, N.C., native with the 10th pick in the 2005 draft.
Maybin played 147 games in 2012, hitting .243 with 26 steals before all the injuries hit.
Maybin initially feared his latest ailment was a serious shoulder injury. It turned out to be the biceps, an injury more common among football players.
If he had required surgery, he would have been out three to four months. Maybin said the injury is so rare for baseball players that several doctors were consulted before deciding it could heal without surgery.