A year later, Angels' Richards looks back on 2014 knee injury
It has now been one year since Los Angeles Angels right-hander Garrett Richards tore his left patellar tendon in a freak injury covering first base at Fenway Park on August 20, 2014.
He's returned to form nicely for the Halos, essentially picking up where he left off en route to a 12-9 record and 3.50 ERA in 23 starts this season.
Speaking with MLB.com's David Adler about his season, Richards said he feels 'normal' - but did concede that his lower half is at a slight disadvantage now: "But obviously I know that my lower half is weaker than it was last year. My whole leg got shut down."
Naturally, he still replays that fateful moment from Fenway Park in his head, over and over. "As the play's going on, I just react, but after it's over, I think about it every time," Richards explained to Adler. "I'll probably think about that forever. … It kind of seems like yesterday, you know?"
Manager Mike Scioscia raved about his pitcher's comeback when speaking with Adler: "In my mind, he's a slam-dunk for Comeback Player of the Year -- because of the circumstances, because of the level he's regained."
Halos pitching coach Mike Butcher, who is innately familiar with the rehab process and just how far Richards has come in the past year, thinks the hardest part is already over for Richards. As he told Adler, "The best of Garrett is still to come. The Garrett we have right now is more than fine, and is a great pitcher, but I think he's only gonna get better as we move forward in his career."