Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the most important week of Kendrys Morales' career and possibly even the Angels 2012 season. Hold on, let me run the hyperbole checker on that last statement.
Survey says.... 10% chance of hyperbole. Not bad.
Now, if I'm reading these results right, the hyperbole only applies to the Angels season, but the part about Morales, 100% accurate, so let's focus on that part first.
As you might know, this is the week that Kendrys Morales' recovery enters its final steps. For the first time since he snapped his ankle, Kendrys Morales is running the bases. That means him actually going full speed, planting on the bag, turning and pushing off with his surgically repaired ankle. Just like a real ballgame.
If that goes well for the next few days, he will play in a real ballgame. That's right, Kendrys Morales playing in real ballgames could be just one week away. Personally, I thought we would never see that day.
Yet here we are now, mere days away from seeing the player who once looked like he was going to be the Angels' franchise player returning to the field to try and pick up where he left off. But make no mistake, this coming week of tests is a lot more than a mere formality. As last training camp taught us, nothing is ever as simple as it seems when it comes to Morales' recovery. All it takes is for Kendrys to plant his foot on first base, have it roll on him and the comeback is over. It doesn't even necessarily have to be a new injury to his previously broken bone, it could be something as common as a sprain. The kind of trauma Kendrys suffered can leave his ankle weaker and more susceptible to injury no matter how many plates, screws and bionic body parts his doctors stuck in there.
Even the slightest of setbacks this week could send Morales back weeks or even months in time on his recovery program like he had found Doc Brown's Delorean. And I'm not just talking about his running program, I'm talking about the very scare proposition of Morales reverting back to the days of "will he ever be healthy ever again." (Though I find the prospect of more endless reports about him running on a magical weightless treadmill equally as frightening.) If something as basic as rounding first base can cause him to hurt himself again, to whatever degree, the whispers are going to start again. Whispers are scary. Whispers can affect the future of the franchise. Whispers can mean the end of Kendrys' career.