My head falls back against the pillow as I listen to the worst news an MLB pitcher will ever hear.
The doctor picks up my chart and looks it over. “The surgery on your elbow went well. We put in one pin and I would expect a full recovery where that is concerned. But as I said yesterday, your nerve was damaged from the contact of the fast-moving ball and there is just no telling when or if you will regain complete function. If you haven’t made a lot of progress in three months or so, we can consider nerve transposition surgery, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Nerve issues have been known to correct themselves over the period of a few weeks or months.”
“Or never,” I add, sullenly.
He looks at me with an empathetic smile. “It’s a wait-and-see game, Brady. Don’t go jumping to conclusions.”
I close my eyes and absorb his words again. I heard them yesterday. Those and more. I know the drill. I’ll be put on the disabled list and most likely sent to our spring training complex for intense rehab.
“But you’re not very optimistic, are you?” I ask. “You’ve seen these types of injuries before with all the athletes you work on. Give it to me straight. What are the chances I’ll pitch again? I need to know.”
“Pitch, or pitch at the level you were two days ago?”
“Come on, doc. You know anything less than how I was would be catastrophic for me.”
Dr. Sorenson mulls over my chart again. I feel like he’s stalling. I glance at Murphy and I can tell she’s thinking the same thing because she widens her eyes and moves them quickly in his direction and back.
He sighs and I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the chest. “Best guess – twenty percent chance. Maybe thirty. But I’m always conservative in my prognosis predictions, so please keep that in mind. I’d rather have you singing my praises than signing my death warrant.” He laughs at his attempt at a joke.
“I appreciate your honesty,” I tell him before he walks away.
I’m trying to hold it together when Murphy reaches over to take my hand. “How many kids grow up to be major league pitchers?”
I look sideways at her random question.
“How many?” she asks again.
I shrug and then scold myself when pain shoots down my left arm. “I don’t know, like point one of one percent?”
She shakes her head. “Less,” she says. “There are what, thirty MLB teams? And each team carries approximately five starting pitchers. That’s one hundred and fifty major league pitchers. And how many males are in the United States?”
She takes out her phone and Googles it. “About a hundred and fifty million.” Then she taps on the calculator. “That means of all the men in the country, and we’re not even including all the foreigners who come and play, the typical male has a 0.000001 chance of becoming a major league pitcher. That is one in a million, or a millionth of a percent, right?”
I laugh at her not quite genius-level math skills.
“Shut up,” she says. “You know what I mean. What I’m trying to say is that you accomplished something that a million other people couldn’t do, and you’re going to let Dr. Sorenson giving you a twenty-to-thirty percent chance bring you down? If little boys were told they had those kinds of odds of becoming a starting pitcher for the New York Nighthawks, they’d be over the moon.”
I can’t help the smile that overtakes my face. “Caden is always telling me you’re a glass-half-full girl. I think I like that about you, Murphy.” She is the most optimistic person I’ve ever met. It has me thinking about something. “I’ve been meaning to ask you, when’s the trial?”
Murphy was wronged in a major way by her ex-boyfriend. And now both Murphy and Caden have to testify to put the guy behind bars. He’s been charged with something like four felonies and five thousand misdemeanors. Five thousand. The guy should get far more time than he’s looking at, which is two to five years based on what the prosecutor says.
“The scumbag’s lawyer has already gotten two postponements, something about his client being too sick for trial. Tony is scamming him like he scams everyone. But his day will come and Karma will eat him alive.”
“I can’t wait to see it happen,” I tell her.
An orderly comes by to take me back to my room.
“Go home, Murphy. I really appreciate you being here for me when the guys are gone. Go watch the rest of the game. I’m probably going to sleep all evening anyway.”
She puts her bag over her shoulder. “Okay, but I’m coming back tomorrow to take you home. And then I’m going to help you pack for Tampa.”
“It’s not like I don’t pack for Tampa every spring, you know.”
She motions to my arm. “Not one-handed you don’t.”
I’m not used to being so fucking useless.
She walks over and puts her hand on my shoulder. She looks down at me with a motherly expression, although I’m a good three years older than she is. “Take it from another person who thought her life was destroyed by a baseball – things will get better. Who knows what the future will hold, Brady.”
I nod. I don’t bother saying this is different. I don’t bother saying her injury wasn’t as critical as mine. I don’t say it because that would make me an asshole. But I think it. Because I’m an asshole.
She turns to head out. “They said you’ll probably be released around 2:00 PM. I’ll see you then. Take it easy, okay?”
“Will do. Thanks, Murphy.”
They wheel me back to my room and I immediately turn on the TV and find the game. I watch it, of course, but what I really want to do is go back to sleep and be with Natalie and Keeton.
I walk through the training complex – something I’ve done numerous times before – and mourn the fact that I’m not here to play ball.
Normally, when we come here, it’s after a three-month hiatus. When we walk through the front gate, elation washes over us at the thought of getting back into the game. But now, I just shake my head and hope that come next spring, I’ll be one of the players making this walk.
Five months. I have five months to regain the use of my arm and hand. I guess I was lucky to get injured late in the season instead of early on. Lucky. Yeah, not a word I’d use to describe my life in the least.
I hear some commotion beyond the fence to my left and go over to peek through one of the slats. The Hawks’ single-A minor league team is practicing on the complex field. My heart hurts – actually hurts – knowing I can’t be out there. And even if my elbow and nerve damage heal, who knows if I’ll ever be able to pitch like I did before. I’ve seen plenty of guys with injuries less severe than mine come back from rehab only to be different players. A lot of them end up being released from the team.
I’m not worried about that yet, however. They can’t release an injured player.
I back away from the fence to stop torturing myself and continue my walk through the complex. I get stopped by a few people. Most of the organization knows me by sight. I paste on a smile as they wish me well.
I open one of the double doors that leads to the physical therapy building and curse loudly when it touches my injured elbow. I can’t even open a fucking door properly.
“Can I help you?” a woman calls out from a desk in the corner, clearly perturbed at my choice of words.
I shrug an apology with my right shoulder as I make my approach. “I’m Brady Taylor. I have an appointment.”
She looks at her computer. “Yes, of course. We already have all your information. Please have a seat over there and Rylee will be with you shortly.”
I walk over to the drab brown couch and sit down carefully so as not to jostle my arm. I look around. It’s not as if I’ve never been here before. I’ve been here for five years in a row, ever since I was drafted by the Hawks and quickly moved up through the ranks. We all go through some sort of rehab during spring training so I’m no stranger to this place.
Rylee. I try to think of who he or she is. I’ve met most of the athletic training and PT staff, but the name is not familiar.
A door opens and a petite brunette walks through. “Mr. Taylor, I’m Rylee Kennedy, your physical therapist.”
She offers me her hand as I stand up. I shake it, noting how small it is and I wonder how this tiny person is going to work on a big athlete such as myself. “Uh, nice to meet you, Rylee.”
She sees me assessing her and laughs. “Don’t let my size fool you, Mr. Taylor, I may not be able to carry your weight, but I sure as hell can help get you back in tip-top shape.”
I like her already. She’s spunky. And direct.
“It’s Brady,” I tell her. “And I’m not sure anyone can get me back in tip-top shape.”
She motions toward the door and I hold it open for her as we walk through.
“I’ve read your file. I’m aware of your injuries. And I’ve worked on a lot of players with nerve damage before. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.” She smiles at me reassuringly. “Let’s go into the room on the right for your evaluation.”
As she goes through my chart and tells me what to expect over the next few weeks and months, I realize Rylee is stunning. Petite and athletic looking, I wouldn’t be surprised if she had been a cheerleader or a gymnast back in college. Although her hair is in a ponytail, I can see that it’s very long with loose waves at the ends. For a second, I allow myself to imagine pulling the hair tie out and letting her long locks flow over my naked body as she tugs on my dick.
Then the reality of why I’m here hits me once again and I realize that nobody is going to be tugging on my dick except me for quite a while. I won’t even be able to fuck properly with only one arm.
“Are you getting all this, Brady?” she asks with a scolding furrow of her brow.
Damn, she caught me daydreaming. Why do I get the feeling this woman is going to put me through my paces?
***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com