“Semi-professional” Baseball, Quotation Marks, and Plantar Fasciitis: A “Winning” Combination

It’s been a little over a year since my last post, so I figured I’d throw up a new post to update people on my continued progress. In short, my knees are awesome. I’ve spent A LOT of time strengthening my legs, and it has paid off in spades. I’m back to squatting over 300 pounds, and I’m able to play sports without favoring either knee. I haven’t fully regained my jumping ability from before my injuries -my vertical jump is about 2 inches less than before- but it’s not terribly important to me anymore. And I feel confident that I could regain those 2 inches with plyometric training if I really wanted to.


I could probably still do this, too, if I really wanted to…

I’m still playing pickup basketball and football here and there, but the important thing to me is that I’m back playing “competitive” baseball again. The quotation marks around “competitive” are due to the fact that I’m playing what’s known as “semi-professional” baseball. And the reason “semi-professional” is in quotes is because that term doesn’t mean anything. Semipro ball is for players who aren’t quite good enough to play professionally, but don’t want to resign themselves to playing softball just yet. The crowds are abysmally small, only consisting of players’ friends and family. Some teams have former professional players on them, but most of the guys who play are current and former college players like me. The games are competitive in the same way that a game of darts at the bar with your friends is competitive: The outcome isn’t really important, but nobody wants to look bad in front of their girlfriends, so you still do your best.

“Man, I really don’t give a shit about this. Can’t look like a loser in front of Becky, though..”

As I’ve said before, I’ve gained a newfound appreciation for my health as a result of my long recovery process. At some point during every game I play now, I take some time to really take in the moment and think about how fortunate I am to be able to be playing on that particular night. They say you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone, and that certainly seems to be the case with me. I’m lucky; I went through a lengthy, annoying, painful rehab process, and came out the other side relatively unscathed.

The one problem I’m having now is a bit of plantar fasciitis. This is one of those problems like Turf Toe that sounds wimpy, but in reality can be pretty debilitating; injuries that elicit sarcastic “waaaahhhs” and “boo-hoos” any time somebody talks about them.

“Broken tibia? Boo freakin’ hoo. Shut up and get back in there, you big baby.”

Plantar fasciitis is a pretty substantial pain in the ass, however. And I’m fairly certain that I’ve acquired it as a result of not stretching enough since I started playing sports again. It’s normal to lose some range of motion in your knee and ankle after major knee surgery. I didn’t spend nearly enough time improving my ankle mobility, and I’m paying the price now. I’ve started spending a lot of time foam rolling and stretching my calf muscles, and that seems to be helping, but i definitely would rather not be dealing with searing pain in the bottom of my foot every morning. If you’re currently rehabbing from knee surgery, don’t forget to work on your ankle and hip mobility. Since the hip, knee, and ankle are all connected, it stands to reason that problems with one will affect the other two. So make sure you spend time taking care of all 3, or you, too, might feel the pain of an injury that nobody takes seriously.

“Oh my God will you just SHUT UP about your stupid ankle injury already?!”

About Andrew Sacks

I'm a 27-year-old former college baseball player, currently working as a strength and conditioning coach in Baltimore, MD.
This entry was posted in Knee injury, Me, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to “Semi-professional” Baseball, Quotation Marks, and Plantar Fasciitis: A “Winning” Combination

  1. Pingback: My Homepage

  2. Helena says:

    Glad to hear you are doing well, your knees are awesome and your back playing baseball!

    I’m doing ok with my knee. Five months out from MPFL reconstruction and I’m pushing on. It’s been super tough with this second surgery, and I’m almost to that 90 degree goal my Orthopedic had probably hoped I’d reach long ago. Looking forward to being fully functional again! lol

    • Denise says:

      I just finished week 1 post-PCL and ACL surgery and couldn’t sleep tonight, so I started trolling the internet to try to understand the recovery process. Stumbled on your blog and it’s cracking me up big time! Scrolled all the way to the beginning to follow where you were in my relative timeline. Ha!! Thanks for keeping this blog up! It really helps to lighten the spirit. 6-9 months recovery just kind of hit me as I looked up PT timelines tonight – but you have provided perspective and a sigh of relief. A reminder not to take myself so seriously and slap myself out of a blue moment. I played roller derby for four years, and although it’s amateur – I can relate to your take on “semi-pro.” It’s cool to see that you returned to the sport you love. Cheers to you – and thanks for leaving your mark so that others can benefit!

      • Andy says:

        Keep your head up. Rehab right, stretch, and get strong. I’ve torn my same acl 2 times 5 years apart, last time a year ago, and am 6’2 white guy dunking again. Be patient and work hard, but smart. Best of luck

  3. birchh says:

    Hi Andy
    I’ve read your entire blog which has been a great read and instilled some postivity to me, so much so I thought I’d start my own blog as a shoulder to lean on as your story has been for me. Torn ACL/MCL with a full leg cast, surgery within the next month. Great to see you’ve recovered so well!
    All the best

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