Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bell Expecting to Be Ready after Minor Knee Surgery

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bell Expecting to Be Ready after Minor Knee Surgery

Article excerpt

BRADENTON, Fla. - Josh Bell intends to be ready to play opening day. The Pirates first baseman had a minor knee procedure Feb. 1 but doesn't expect to be out long. He was at Pirate City Monday for the first day of spring training for an extensive workout with the team's training staff.

"I felt good before [surgery]," Bell said, "and I feel really good after."

Bell picked up yoga this offseason and had nearly reached his goal of 100 hours when the injury stopped him. It was while performing a "fire hydrant position" one day in late January, Bell said, that he realized he was hurt. He could not fully flex his left leg. He called Pirates head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk for advice, and a few days later he had surgery in Arlington, Texas.

The surgeon, according to the Pirates, removed "a loose body" from Bell's left knee, the knee he had twice before injured. Bell, the Pirates' No. 4 prospect per Baseball America, had surgery to repair the meniscus in 2012, and he missed a month because of a bone bruise in 2014.

Bell was back on his feet soon after surgery, and he has resumed his throwing routine and taken dry swings. He expects to be cleared to hit later this week. He plans to continue practicing yoga, as he already saw noticeable improvement in his flexibility and endurance this winter.

The typical recovery from the procedure is two to four weeks. The Pirates' initially said Bell's status for opening day is "TBA." Bell, in his second week of rehabilitation, expects to be healthy long before opening day, but he understands the training staff doesn't plan to rush his return.

"We'll see how I progress. We'll see what they see," Bell said. "I'm just focused on being ready for opening day, being ready in June and July. . At first I was like, ugh, couldn't this have happened in December? And my family was like, 'Well thank goodness it didn't happen in July. …

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