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After battling through the end of last season with a torn labrum in his right hip, Mike Lowell underwent arthroscopic surgery in October to fix the problem, and came back this season looking a lot better, at least on the outside.
But now, there’s no hiding the fact that Lowell is still feeling pain and tightness in his hip, and it seems as though he will be undergoing another attempt to get rid of the pain with an injection of Synvisc, possibly on Monday according to the Boston Globe.
Doctors have told Lowell that the pain should be expected, but it still doesn’t take away the fact that this is now a recurring problem and affecting Lowell’s playing time. He’s missed four of the last six games, and although he claims the pain isn’t as bad as it was last season, it’s still affecting his swing.
Lowell’s average when he was playing through the pain last season was .273, and right now he’s batting .283. But in 2007 his numbers were much better: a .324 batting average and the World Series MVP trophy. You have to wonder if his productivity at the plate (and possibly more errors on the field) are a result of the constant, nagging pain in his hip.
There’s also the question of what Red Sox management will do if Lowell’s hip injury continues to be in the way of his playing ability. With the whole scandal earlier this season about the Red Sox trying to get Mark Teixeira, there were doubts as to where Mike Lowell would go: would it be Youkilis or Lowell at third? If there was a thought in Epstein’s mind about getting rid of Lowell, I have to say I’m a little afraid of what will happen if this hip injury continues to hurt Lowell’s chances for remaining on the team.
I just would hate to see the surgery as good-for-nothing, and it seems unfair that Lowell still has to play in pain. He’s proven that he can still produce even when he’s hurting, but if he was actually feeling 100%, I’m sure we would see much better results. Hopefully, if Lowell goes through with the Synvisc shot, he’ll be completely back to normal and can start putting big numbers up on the scoreboard, without fear of a sore hip.