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Curtis Granderson

The Grandstand: Working my way off the disabled list

Big League Stew

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As many of you probably know, I've been on the 15-day disabled list with a groin injury since May 1. It was officially listed as a Grade II strain to my left groin, which to us non-doctors just means that it hurt. While my stint on the DL is close to ending, there is still some work to be done before I can get back on the field.

To add insult to injury, I came down with my first case of strep throat in nearly a decade the day after I was placed on the DL. For someone who likes to eat, strep throat is not a fun way of being sick. A lot of liquids and soft foods have to be consumed.

I've finally started doing some basic running and hitting drills. When you first go on the disabled list with an injury like this, doctors, trainers and coaches are all very cautious — which they should be. I've been doing some light weightlifting to at least keep in shape, but because I'm not doing any running, hitting or fielding work, it almost feels like January all over again, right before I get ready to head to spring training.

The last time I missed a significant amount of games was at the start of the 2008 season. I was hit by a pitch in spring training that year and suffered a fracture in my hand. The team started that year 0-7, and I really pushed hard to get back to the team to help get the Tigers back on the winning side of things. From that experience, I definitely learned that even though I want to compete and help my team, I have to be patient with an injury.

The day-to-day process of rehabilitation for any injury can be frustrating. As an athlete, you want more than anything to be on the field helping your teammates in any way possible.

But on the positive side, it gives me a chance to observe the game from a different angle.

When I'm in the lineup, I am able to study pitchers and hitters, but I also have to focus on my own game quite a bit. Different situations throughout the course of a game dictate different things I need to do.

These past few days, I've been able to sit in the dugout and just see different approaches from my teammates at the plate and in the field. I think a lot of people just assume that when we get hurt, we are only working to heal, but this is a great opportunity for me to get better as a player in other ways. I still have to focus 100 percent on the game so I can be fully prepared when I do get back on the field.

Part of me was hoping that I would have gone on the last road trip to Detroit, though I completely agreed with the decision to leave me in New York to rehab this injury. Up until this year, my entire career was in the Tigers organization and I was looking forward to returning to Comerica Park and seeing many of those familiar faces — both in the Tigers dugout and in the stands. It was the only regular-season visit to Detroit for us.

Soon I will start with some heavier fielding work, taking batting practice and changing directions when I run. Those are all things that will need to be eased into. Once I start feeling more comfortable with that, then I will probably do a rehabilitation stint with one of the Yankees minor league affiliates.

Next week, I'm planning to do my first Q&A of the season on Big League Stew. If you have a question for me, please send it to curtis@curtisgranderson.com. Make sure to include your name and your hometown.

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Curtis Granderson plays for the New York Yankees and his blog will appear regularly on Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew during the 2010 season. Make sure to check out and support his Grand Kids Foundation.

Read his previous posts here.

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