What Shaquille O’Neal told David Ortiz about Achilles injuries
|03.09.13 at 8:25 am ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — From the time that he suffered his Achilles injury last July, David Ortiz has been seeking answers. He’s talked to fellow baseball players (most recently, discovering that former Red Sox All-Star Dwight Evans spent years managing his Achilles injuries) but, by and large, he’s found that problems in the region have been far more common to NBA players given the pounding that their enormous frames take while running and jumping up and down the hardwood.
And perhaps no player better embodies the idea of a giant placing immense stress on his Achilles than retired great Shaquille O’Neal. O’Neal, Ortiz said, was often in the Boston area last year, following a final NBA season in 2010-11 that was spent with the Celtics, only to be cut short when he could not return from an Achilles injury that ultimately resulted in career-ending surgery.
When Ortiz was initially dealing with his injury last year, still wearing an immobilizing boot while in the Boston area, he ran into the 19-year NBA veteran.
“I bumped into him while I was wearing the boot,” said Ortiz. “We just talked about the first time he started getting pain. He struggled with that. He was a big guy who, when he was doing things, moving around, he was doing damage. At some point, he had to go in and fix it.”
That, Ortiz said, differentiates him from the former Celtics great. (So, too, did O’Neal’s decision to publicize video of his surgery. “Disgusting,” Ortiz said, with a mix of awe and revulsion.) Still, O’Neal did have some practical advice to give the Red Sox slugger.
“Big guys, that kind of injury, we carry more weight. You use your Achilles for everything. There’s nothing you do without using your Achilles, so it definitely takes longer than if a little guy injures his Achilles,” said Ortiz. “So, just be smart about it. you don’t want to get it worse. That’s the same thing I’ve been hearing from everybody.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Boston Red Sox: Final Predictions for Each Key Spring Position Battle
- Boston Red Sox: The 5 Most Disappointing Players in Spring Training So...
- David Price Likely to Start Season on DL as He Recovers from Arm Injury
- Boston Red Sox: 5 Players Who Are in Serious Danger of Being Cut or...
- David Price Reportedly Won't Need Elbow Surgery, Will Be Out 7-10 Days
- David Price's Elbow Could Make or Break Red Sox's World Series Dreams
- David Price Underwent MRI on Elbow Injury, Scratched from Spring Training...
- Notes from the Field: Jason Groome debuts on Day Four
- Chatham using size to his advantage at shortstop
- Fort Report: Another round of cuts as Opening Day nears
- Podcast Ep. #114: Straight Outta A-Ball
- Fort Report: New scouting reports, Meyers motivational WBC experience
- Ockimey making adjustments after second-half swoon
- Notes from the Field: Mata, Anderson, Dalbec, Hill and more from Day Three
- Meyers' big WBC moment now his motivation in camp
- Fort Report: Staff spends the weekend at camp
- Notes from the Field: Devers, Tobias, Garcia and more from Days One and Two