Adam Eaton will have shoulder surgery on Monday but expects to be able to cast a fishing line in three weeks.
The White Sox leadoff man said Sunday he’s set to have arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, which has bothered him since he injured it diving in late July.
Eaton — who has a .287/.361/.431 slash line with 14 homers in 689 plate appearances — missed several games at the time but has played through the pain and thrived. He said the procedure is a “nerve decompression” to make sure his muscles properly function.
“Just make sure it’s functioning next year,” Eaton said. “It’s been kind of a hassle most of the season with throwing and diving and what not. I guess just some scheduled maintenance. It’s scheduled tomorrow and should be a pretty easy recovery.
“I’m excited to sleep better and be able to put my hand above my shoulder in the future.”
Eaton injured himself enough with a dive in Cleveland on July 25 that he missed the following game and was the designated hitter when he returned on July 27. He re-aggravated the injury diving again in Kansas City in early August. While it has hindered his sleep patterns and throwing motion, Eaton hasn’t slowed down at the plate. Since July 27, Eaton is hitting .337/.409/.480 with six homers in 288 plate appearances.
“He’s played with it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We knew it was there, and now we’re just going to go in and clean it up so he can feel 100 percent when he gets to spring training. But he does play well when he has something wrong, so that’s a good sign. He has battled through it, and I think he’s had a good effort as far as playing through it.”
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Eaton admits he’s ready for this offseason more than any other before. The centerfielder has felt more pressure — whether internal or external — than ever since he signed his five-year contract extension. Combined with a team that didn’t live up to expectations and extra scrutiny, Eaton said it hasn’t been a very fun season.
“I’m very excited to recharge the batteries,” Eaton said. “Every year at this level is very stressful. Expectations are always high, with this being the highest of any year I’ve ever been in the big leagues. When you don’t do what you want to do with that year, there’s a lot of thought that goes into it the week after. There’s a lot of stress throughout the year that you don’t sleep well because you want to play well and you want to put a good product out there and you want to make the playoffs and you want to do well for the city. When you don’t do it, it’s hard to come here day in and day out when you are struggling.
“We are going to definitely reflect on what I can do better as an individual and we can do better as a team and hopefully can fix a lot of things between now and April or whatever it is in our first game next year.”