If anyone can relate to what Dustin Pedroia is going through, it's David Wright.
The former New York Mets third baseman enjoyed a stellar 14-year career before it was derailed by chronic injuries, including one to his spine. Wright worked tirelessly to return to form, but his comeback attempt ended in 2018 with one final appearance to bid farewell to Mets fans.
Pedroia is heading down a similar path. On Tuesday, it was revealed the veteran Boston Red Sox second baseman suffered a significant setback with the same knee that has kept him out of commission for most of the last two-and-a-half seasons.
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Wright, knowing the kind of competitor Pedroia is, empathizes with the 2008 American League MVP.
“I completely understand what he’s going through," Wright told Tara Sullivan of The Boston Globe. "I think as a competitor — and I’ve talked to Dustin about this particular subject because ultimately it’s got to be his decision — but I think everyone that’s competed, especially for us at the highest level of the game, everyone’s endgame and everyone’s goal is to go out on our own terms. We want to go out when we want to go out, and for me at least, that was the difficult part, where it was my body telling me I can’t do it anymore."
Pedroia has shown he won't go down without a fight, and that likely won't change even after his latest setback.
But if he does indeed decide to finally call it a career, Wright hopes he'll at least hang 'em up knowing he did everything he could to return to the field.
“I’m rooting for him to come back, and certainly if it doesn’t happen, I’m hoping he has peace of mind," Wright told Sullivan.
“I can’t speak on Dustin’s behalf, but for me, what happened with the injuries allowed me to know 1,000 percent that I just physically couldn’t do it, because if I had given up earlier, if I hadn’t exhausted the possibilities and those avenues I went down, I would sit here today and say, ‘Oh man, what if.’ ”
Pedroia's setback means his status for spring training is in doubt. Although the 36-year-old stated in November he isn't contemplating retirement, he may have to begrudgingly re-evaluate his situation if his nagging injury forces him to miss the 2020 campaign.