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Cortisone injection saved Ryan Zimmerman’s season

Sep 13, 2012, 12:46 PM EDT

zimmerman getty Getty Images

Ryan Zimmerman was struggling to play through a shoulder injury and hitting just .218 with three homers and a .590 OPS in 55 games through June 23.

The next day the Nationals third baseman got a cortisone injection in his shoulder and since then he’s been on fire.

Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com broke down the numbers and they’re amazing: Since the cortisone injection Zimmerman is hitting .339 with 19 homers, 21 doubles, and a 1.021 OPS in 72 games.

One of the worst hitters in baseball before the cortisone injection and one of the best hitters in baseball since the cortisone injection, which is doubly remarkable considering at the time doctors told Zimmerman that they weren’t sure how much good the shot would do on his shoulder.

Looking back on it now, here’s what Zimmerman told Zuckerman:

I’m OK with the slow starts, but not being able to swing the bat and do the things health-wise, I was worried about that. Because I know my body pretty well. Everyone in this room plays hurt. Everyone in every locker room. Nobody’s healthy. And I’ve played hurt a lot just like everyone else. But it was a different kind of feeling. It made me nervous.

That was a trying time, I guess you could say. That was about as tough a six-week stretch as I’ve ever had in my career. To be able to look up there now and know I’ve been able to battle back from that–and more importantly, can actually help the team win now–I’m pretty proud of it.

Cortisone shots for everyone!

  1. steveflack - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Cortisone? You mean the steroid?

  2. kevinleaptrot - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    The whole damn team has been on fire since that cortisone shot! Talk about a performance enhancing drug!

    • frenchysplatediscipline - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      Yeah. What a shame…

  3. robmar924 - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Yea its crazy that a .280 career hitter is hitting .287 this season. Whoa crazy crazy! we should totally assume the cortisone shot is the lone factor here

    • kkolchak - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      “Since the cortisone injection Zimmerman is hitting .339 with 19 homers, 21 doubles, and a 1.021 OPS in 72 games”

      Sometimes it helps to read the whole article.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        Hahahaha, read. What’s next? Click the links that in there instead of bashing Craig/Aaron/DJ/Matt for saying something absurd….

      • paperlions - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        Well, gee…I sure hope that isn’t next, that would be rather inconvenient, maybe even educational…who wants that?

      • natstowngreg - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:50 PM

        Educational = boring. Much more fun to blurt out the first ignorant thing to come into your mind.

        That approach has the benefit of generating more page hits, which is good for NBC Universal and, in turn, good for Craig. And we only want what’s best for Craig, right?

  4. thereisaparty - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    *Third cortisone injection saved Ryan Zimmerman’s season

    The previous two injections didn’t work. The third shot was administered on June 24.

  5. kkolchak - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    This is great for Zimmerman. I can just imagine how frustrated he was to think this special season, which he suffered through a lot of losing waiting for, might be ruined for him personally. He doesn’t get nearly as much publicity as he should, but Zim is one of the game’s good guys.

  6. dalucks - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Let’s make sure everyone knows that a cortisone shot is a steriod. I am shocked this article did not stated that a PED saved his season. I guess it just depends on which steriods or PEDs you use makes you a cheater. If only the media was smarter and did a better job of going more in-depth on topics.

    • kkolchak - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Um…using banned substances is cheating. Cortisone is quite obviously not a banned substance. Duh.

      • paperlions - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:59 PM

        Right, but cortisone actually has the same general benefit that anabolic steroids do….they help you stay on the field and perform at a higher level than you otherwise could, as the bounce-back is the biggest benefit of anabolic steroids to baseball players.

        The point is that there is no legitimate reason for one to be legal and the other not to be….repeated cortisone shots can be hell on a joint, thinning ligaments and weakening the bone, leading to joint degeneration. The long term negative effects are actually greater for repeated cortisone use than repeated anabolic steroid use (use, not abuse).

    • kevinbnyc - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Idiot.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      @dalucks: Agreed that the question of what is, and is not, a PED could be explained better. We had a discussion a while back (think it was around the time Zimmemran got his cortisone shot) about this. The distinction between why some substances are legal, and others are not, was not clear.

      That said, Zimmerman’s use of cortisone was within the rules. Labeling him a cheater is wrong. If you think the rules are wrong, try to get them changed.

  7. thereisaparty - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Let’s make sure everyone knows that caffeine is a stimulant … I guess it just depends on which PEDs you use makes you a cheater. If only the media was smarter and did a better job of going more in-depth on topics.

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