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Mike Aviles has a pretty good idea when we might see Carl Crawford playing again

08.22.12 at 8:52 am ET
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When trying to guess when Carl Crawford might be returning from Tommy John surgery, you might want listen to Mike Aviles.

Aviles underwent the procedure on July 9, 2009.

‘€œAround 7½ months I was playing in spring training games, and that was kind of rare,’€ Aviles said. ‘€œI still wasn’€™t able to play shortstop, but I was able to play second because my throws just didn’€™t have the extra carry that I needed.

‘€œI felt fully healed one the season started, but you could still feel as the months went on that your arm continued to get stronger. I would say right around the year mark is when I felt completely, fully, fully back to normal.’€

Aviles came back for the 2010 season, playing in 110 games for the Royals. He did, however, play mostly at second base (87 games) while getting the strength back in his elbow.

And while Crawford first threw out a timeline of 5-6 months for a position’€™s player recovery time, Aviles suggests a different path.

‘€œUsually with pitchers it’€™s 12-plus [months], but when it comes to position players 9-10 is usually a good benchmark,’€ the Red Sox shortstop said. ‘€œBut it all depends on the person’€™s anatomy. I remember Dr. [Lewis] Yocum telling me not to expect to be back until the All-Star break the following year. But I felt good earlier and the whole thing has to do with the person’€™s anatomy, how the body feels.’€

It is experience that Aviles knows can help Crawford, both now, and as his road back to the baseball field unfolds.

‘€œI talked to CC quite a bit about it because I want him to understand what he has ahead of him,’€ Aviles said. ‘€œI told him, ‘€˜If you have any questions on anything, I’€™ve been through it, just ask.’€™ It’€™s kind of weird because he’€™s been in the year 10 years so I would be asking him for things. This is the one time I can actually help him out. I told him, ‘€˜Call me, text me, anything.’€™ I’€™ll gladly let him know if it’€™s the same thing, because there were times I felt a certain thing and they might say it’€™s normal, but as a player you don’€™t know it’€™s normal because you’€™ve never had the surgery.

‘€œI remember asking Joakim Soria and Bruce Chen, just to make sure things were normal. Sometimes as a player you need that reassurance from a person who has had the surgery. I know CC has asked me about it and I’€™ve tried to help him as much as possible for what he has to prepare for.’€

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