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Mike Napoli still bothered by World Series ankle injury

Feb 13, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

2011 World Series Game 6 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Over the weekend Mike Napoli and the Rangers avoided arbitration with a one-year, $9.4 million deal, but the ankle injury he suffered in Game 6 of the World Series continues to bother the catcher and figures to limit him at the beginning of spring training.

“The fact he’s still feeling it a few months later speaks to what he went through to play the rest of Game 6 and go back out for Game 7,” general manager Jon Daniels told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. “It was about as bad as it looked to the rest of us.”

When he initially suffered the injury running the bases it seemed impossible that Napoli would remain in the game, yet he stayed in and then played (and caught) Game 7 too. Given what we know now about the injury that’s pretty damn amazing, although it may not have been a smart decision for Napoli long term if he’s still limited six months later.

Fraley speculates that the situation could keep Napoli from expanding his regular season workload behind the plate, although the Rangers’ team doctor recently examined his ankle and found no structural damage. Yorvit Torrealba, who started for much of the season before giving way to Napoli in the playoffs, is still around as the Rangers’ backup catcher. And the 30-year-old Napoli is eligible for free agency next offseason.

  1. stex52 - Feb 13, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    I said this before. You gotta love those catchers. Toughest guys alive. They have to be.

    I saw Pudge a couple of years back get dinged twice in one inning. Once by a bat, and once by a rogue foul tip. He came up and was laughing with the umpire about it as he threw back to the pitcher.

  2. Matt Adams - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    That picture…why are you so cruel?

  3. paperlions - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Hey, if my left foot was detached at the ankle, I’m sure it would still bother me a few months later as well.

  4. Utley's Hair - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    That pic still bothers me. Damn….

  5. APBA Guy - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    It might bother him longer than just Spring training, especially after he catches a couple of games back to back. Ligaments can take a long time to heal, even with ultrasound and electro stim 3 times a week, especially when you are of the larger persuasion, as is Napoli, and you severely strained your ankle like he did. Id look for a fair amount of DH for him, with Torrealba catching extra in April and May.

  6. nelsonsaint - Feb 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    stop showing that picture! it haunts my dreams.

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