Saturday, July 27, 2013

Albert Pujols and Plantar Fasciitis

All season we've heard about how Albert Pujols is playing on an injured left foot due to a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. Before I go into the most recent development on Pujols and his left foot, I decided to look into to what Plantar Fasciitis is. According to WebMD.com:
What is Plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis (say "PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus") is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia camera is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.

What causes plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling

What are the symptoms?
Most people with plantar fasciitis have pain when they take their first steps after they get out of bed or sit for a long time. You may have less stiffness and pain after you take a few steps. But your foot may hurt more as the day goes on. It may hurt the most when you climb stairs or after you stand for a long time.
Ok, now that we got that out of the way let's focus on Pujols. As it has been well documented, Pujols is not having a Pujolsian type of season. Currently he's batting .258 with 17 home runs and 64 runs batted in and started at Designated hitter for 65 of his 99 starts. It would stand to reason that the reason why Pujols is still in the starting lineup, even with a painful condition as plantar fasciitis is that Pujols has been somewhat productive (compared to teammate Josh Hamilton). Last night's game in Oakland might change things.

According to Los Angeles Times sportswriter, Mike DiGiovanna in his article Angels' Albert Pujols aggravates foot injury, could land on DL:
Albert Pujols aggravated the left foot injury that has hobbled him all season on a ninth-inning, two-run single Friday night and returned to Southern California on Saturday to undergo an MRI test and be examined by a doctor, a setback that is expected to send the slugger to the disabled list.
I really think this is the right thing for Pujols. I give him credit for playing with pain all season but at some point he needs to realize that doing so would hurt not only the team but also himself. Let's say the ligament were to snap. He'd be out for a considerable time and that wouldn't help anyone.

Considering that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are currently tied for 3rd in the American League West at 48-54 (with the Seattle Mariners) at 12 games back in the standings and 8.5 games behind in the American League Wild Card race, I think that Pujols should just rest the foot before he damages it even more. Its easy for me to say since I am not an athlete of Albert Pujols' caliber but with his team seemingly fading more and more in the standings. It would benefit all parties if Pujols just sat and let himself heal.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Sisco Kid