June 18, 2024

Willson Contreras of the St. Louis Cardinals was cleared to return to baseball activities exactly one month after his left forearm was broken by a bat swing. The news amazed the company. Contreras underwent a CT scan on Friday, which revealed significant recovery. Contreras had been telling anyone who would listen for weeks that he felt terrific, but medical testing have now confirmed his claims.

“I’m shocked,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak told KMOX Radio on Sunday. “When that first happened, someone from our medical team told me in confidence that it would be mid-to-late July at the most. So seeing what he can do and how rapidly he heals is incredible.”

The Next Step in Willson Contreras’ Recovery

Contreras had been working on conditioning drills and swinging the bat with his right arm while his surgically repaired forearm was recovering. Now that he’s cleared, he’ll start catching bullpen sessions and swinging off a tee with both arms. Contreras attended Andre Pallante’s bullpen session on Sunday, before the left-hander’s start against the Colorado Rockies.

“It’s incredible to watch him every day because there is deliberate work to make sure that he is back in this lineup,” Cardinals Manager Oliver Marmol told KMOX Radio on Sunday. “That clubhouse respects the heck out of that.”

The Cardinals will be watching to see how Contreras handles the increased baseball activities. If his bullpen sessions and swinging progression go well, he may return to the lineup soon.

“I think the next week to ten days will be quite telling. “To see what we can do and how quickly we can push him,” Mozeliak explained. “He’s one of the toughest individuals I’ve ever known, so that doesn’t surprise me. But even if you’re tough, things do break from time to time, and his comeback has been incredible.”

 

Mets' JD Martinez breaks Cardinals' Willson Contreras' arm in freak  accident on catcher's interference | Fox News

Optimism Is Paying Off for Contreras

Contreras was bragging about how fantastic he felt for the past month. Following surgery, he assured reporters that his arm felt well and showed off a soft cast as the sole thing covering his injury. This weekend, he stated that he was not surprised to get cleared just four weeks after breaking his arm because he takes good care of himself. Despite not being surprised, he was pleased with the outcomes.

“That means a lot. Because when you have a schedule like this, you begin to question yourself. “If you’re going to feel the same, you’re going to be the same as I was before,” Contreras stated over the weekend. “At the moment, I’m not worried about anything. I think I’m in really good form, and I know I’ll come back stronger.”

Mozeliak has been giving weekly updates about Contreras on local radio. He would applaud the Catcher’s optimism and toughness while also urging patience during the mending. Despite his amazement at the comeback, he was expecting the good news late last week.

“Yes, he was constructed a little differently. “There’s no doubt he’s an extremely tough man, and his preparation and training are at an elite level,” Mozeliak said on Bally Sports Midwest. “To see him return this quickly, I guess I’m not surprised given what I know about him, but it really is good news.”

Returning to a Team in the Postseason Hunt

When Contreras went down, the Cardinals were 15-21. Since then, the squad has gone 16-12 and climbed back into the playoff picture.
Rookie catcher Ivan Herrera has done well at the plate in Contreras’ absence. He has a.266/.333/.316 batting line over the previous 30 days. However, his arm strength is below-average. Herrera ranks in the bottom ten percent of the league in terms of caught stealing above average (-3).

“This is something he’s still working on; it’s not a big strength of his right now,” Marmol said following Thursday’s 2-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Herrera allowed three stolen bases that day. “He does other things well. He’s worked on this throughout his minor league career and will continue to do so. It’s something he’s paying close attention to, but it won’t happen overnight.

Contreras provides a more full picture of a major league catcher behind the plate and in the batter’s box. He was batting.280/.398/.551 prior to the injury. He is also in the top 13 percentile of the league for caught stealing above average (+2). Contreras’ play and the psychological boost of returning earlier than expected should help the squad get above.500.

“To see a guy break his arm, and just eager to get back in this lineup is fun to watch,” Marmol stated. “It’ll be sooner than we think, and I’m excited for it.”

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