Kissimmee, Fla. – Houston Astros starting pitching prospect Kyle Weiland has spent the past two seasons recovering from a rare shoulder infection, hindered by the fact that his injury refused certain antibiotics and medications.
The 27-year-old hopes to make his return to the big leagues this season.
“Coming back is a slow process because it has been such a long time off throwing.” Weiland said. “I’m just working through the little ups and downs; just building back muscles now, especially the big muscles.”
The Albuquerque, New Mexico native, who was originally drafted in the third round by the Boston Red Sox back in 2008, is finally beginning to feel comfortable on the mound again.
He understands that his recovery has been a slow process and that he must take it one day at a time. He last threw on a big-league mound in 2012, lasting only 17 2/3 innings with the Astros before succumbing to his injury.
“Today was another good day and so we have to stick to the positives and feed off of the good days,” Weiland said, following a spring training workout at Osceola County Stadium. “I think we have gotten over this last hurdle which was my [latissimus muscle] was a little bit tight so we’ll just go from here and take it one day at a time.”
During his time away from the game, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound pitcher requested to rehab at home in Austin so he could also continue his anthropology studies at the University of Texas.
At one point during his recovery, Weiland admits that his wife Rachel nursed him back to health.
“She was my nurse during my infection,” he said. “I had to have IV antibiotics every six hours at one point so she played a huge role in getting me healthy.”
The sinkerball pitcher is excited to be back at spring training and has been told his status at this point is considered day-to-day.
Weiland is taking it one day at a time. He discussed how members of the Astros training staff, especially sports rehabilitation specialist Matt Holland, have been great to him by not rushing him back into the lineup.
“[Holland] was with me from the beginning,” he said. “He was very good for me helping to keep motion in my shoulder.”
It has been a long journey back to spring training for Weiland, who was feeling upbeat and excited after his minor-league workout on Monday.
The right-hander said his ultimate goal would be to finish at the big-league level and that he is prepared for the process that it takes to get back there.
“We’ll see in April where I’m at,” Weiland said. “If I’m not close to 100 per cent, hopefully I will be right around the corner from it. “
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