Marcus Stroman returning to college while recovering from knee injury

Marcus Stroman returning to college while recovering from knee injury
Marcus Stroman returning to college while recovering from knee injury

An unlucky and untimely setback on the baseball field is about to help Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman get one step ahead in the game of life.

After suffering a torn left ACL during a pitchers' fielding drill on March 10 and subsequently being ruled out for the season, Stroman has decided to return to Duke University this summer with the intention of completing his degree.   

Good for you, Marcus Stroman.

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Considering the circumstances, it would have been easy for Stroman to mope around and feel sorry for himself in between rehab sessions. Instead, he's turning a negative into a positive. 

As he noted, now he can continue his education, and he won't have to sacrifice any part of his rehab because he'll be working with the highly-regarded medical staff at Duke. It's a win-win scenario that should better his future prospects both on and off the field. 

At 23, Stroman still has plenty to accomplish in both areas, but his baseball future is especially bright. In 2012, he became the first player from Duke to be selected in the first round of baseball's first year player draft when Toronto selected him No. 22 overall. He's since moved up the depth chart quickly, appearing in 26 games as a rookie in 2014. He posted an impressive 3.65 ERA over 130 2/3 innings.

Based on his performance, Stroman was expected to be a big part of Toronto's rotation this season. Internally, the Blue Jays were counting on a breakout season that would push him to the top of their rotation, and many scouts agreed Stroman was poised to do just that. Now, those expectations will be pushed back a year, and now they'll be underlined by concerns over the knee. 

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The injury itself is a reminder of just how quickly and easily a career can be thrown off track. Stroman's response is a reminder that life after baseball should always be foremost on players minds, and hopefully his decision will serve as inspiration to those who might not have those plans in place. 

BLS H/N: Cut 4

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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