The total is almost hard to believe, but it was exactly 663 days ago that Kendrys Morales blasted a walkoff home run for the Los Angeles Angels and then somehow broke his leg while celebrating four bases later.
Needless to say, that's a long time. Especially since it initially seemed like one more list-worthy "odd" injury — albeit at the unfortunate cost of a season — and not something that would cause complications that would cause Morales to miss the better part of two entire campaigns.
"At that time, we knew he was hurt badly," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's what I remember about it. I forgot most of it. But if you want me to revisit it, I'll need another six months of therapy."
The good news is that Morales finally returns to the Angels' lineup for Thursday's exhibition against the Royals. He's batting in the sixth spot as the designated hitter, right between Vernon Wells and Bobby Abreu. No longer the offense's main cog or the man manning first — hey Albert! — Morales instead becomes the type of luxury that every GM would love to have. An affordable DH (he's signed for $2.975 million in 2012) who provides plenty of lineup options with his power and ability to switch hit.
Though Morales made his name by hitting .306 with 34 RBIs and 108 RBIs in 2009, it's a reach to think he'll return to that production. Heck, after two surgeries on his left leg, it's a lot to assume that he'll stay healthy for the entire season.
Still, it's nice to see him make a return after the 22 months he spent watching from our vantagepoint. Here's hoping his return is a productive and lengthy one.