Missing any amount of time with an injury is difficult for athletes, let alone missing an entire season.
Giants outfielder Michael Conforto knows this all too well.
San Francisco signed the former New York Mets outfielder to a two-year, $36 million contract this offseason with plans of starting him in a revamped outfield alongside Mike Yastrzemski and Mitch Haniger.
Conforto missed the entire 2022 MLB season after having shoulder surgery in April and is in the final stages of his rehab as the Giants prepare for spring training.
The 29-year-old joined KNBR 680's "Murph & Mac" on stage at Giants Fan Fest on Sunday, where he provided an encouraging update on his shoulder and detailed his experience throughout a grueling recovery.
"There's really not a whole lot of restrictions right now, I'm pretty much throwing at full capacity," Conforto said. "In my opinion, I should just be able to be another guy when spring training starts. Just roll in with everybody, field my position and be available for anything we need to do. Obviously, it took a long time, it took missing the season. I think we're at 10, 11 months of rehab every single day for two-three hours, sometimes four. I'm sitting there in Arizona where it's 115 degrees and I'm watching baseball and I'm wishing I was out there with the guys."
An extensive rehab will take its toll both physically and mentally. Fortunately for Conforto, he discovered a delicious new hobby to pass the time.
"I started smoking a lot of meat," Conforto explained. "[Gabe Kapler] and I talked a little bit about that, I got really into smoking meats."
Watching from afar, Conforto would have given anything to be back out on the field, which gave him perspective on how important the game was to him.
"It was good for the perspective of how much I love the game," Conforto added. "I'm sitting there and I wish I could be in an 0-for-10 skid. I'm hoping I can hold onto that perspective."
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After a grueling rehab, Conforto should be able to play in the Giants' upcoming spring training games at the end of the month and, if all goes well, should be starting in the outfield on Opening Day on March 30 at Yankee Stadium.