Dirks' rehab should go 'relatively quickly' from here on, but early June return still unlikely
DETROIT — Of any of the injury rehabilitations Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has had to explain, the easiest for him to talk about has probably been Andy Dirks’ recovery from microdiscectomy to repair a disc in his back.
After all, Ausmus had that very surgery in 2010, so he knows what steps are necessary for Dirks to make it back.
“I was trying to think of that when I was reading the report on him couple days ago. I remember kind of easily doing some of the stuff he did: throwing and taking dry swings. You take some swings off the tee, and soft toss. Then it goes relatively quickly after that,” Ausmus said Saturday.
“I think once the doctors feel you can rotate without any issues, it went relatively quickly from dry swings to going to batting practice, and then rehab.”
Dirks has been doing light baseball activities for two weeks, including the dry swings and throwing that Ausmus remembered.
Initially, it was anticipated that Dirks would be facing a 12-week recovery process from surgery on May 10.
That set the potential return date for the first week of June — which is rapidly approaching.
Even with the thought that it may move quickly from here on out, it would be surprising if Dirks is back with the Tigers in early June. It may not even be late June.
As interminable as the wait seems for fans, it’s gotta be worse for Dirks.
Ausmus remembers what that’s like, too.
“Boring. I actually, except for the first week after surgery, traveled with the team. I was with the Dodgers, so I was traveling with the team. I didn’t do much. Other than for a while, just walking on the treadmill was all I could do. I would watch the game every night, but I literally couldn’t do anything,” the manager said.
“It got a little boring. I would imagine Dirks is even more bored, because he’s not with the team. I could at least go out and have a beer with some of the players after the game. I don’t know who he’s hanging out with.”