Veteran utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. knows his place on the Dodgers’ roster. Saturday, a reporter asked him to compare his quick return to the field to teammates Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford, who are still waiting to get clearance to play after having surgery last year.
“You’ve got more to lose with Matty and Carl than me,” Hairston deadpanned.
Hairston had left hip labrum surgery six months ago, a procedure that ended his 2012 season in August. He started in left field Saturday against the Chicago White Sox and played five innings — no small feat considering the unique nature of his surgery, a process that involves removing the leg from its socket. Hairston said that rebuilding strength in the leg is the most painstaking part recovery.
For six hours every day for two months, Hairston’s leg was stuck in a machine called a CPM (continuous passive motion) device, which automatically moves the leg back and forth while the patient lies on his back.
“The first month was pretty tough — the pain, lying in bed,” he said. “You picture yourself playing again. That helps you realize there’s a goal. It helps you continue to fight through it.”
“I’m a little sore,” Hairston said after the game. “My whole body is sore though.”