While going through rehab from Tommy John surgery, Michael Kopech has had some extra time and freedom for the past year.
One thing he has decided to do with that time is grow out his hair. He's not just doing it out of laziness, the White Sox pitcher is doing it for charity.
Kopech's Big Kut Sweepstakes offers fans who donate a chance to win prizes, including a private lunch with Kopech. Donations are going to Chicago White Sox Charities and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago and Northwest Indiana.
"I wanted to give back in anyway that I could and cancer is a sensitive subject in my family to begin with because we lost a lot of family members to begin with," Kopech said in a phone interview during Wednesday's White Sox-Royals broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago.
"I thought if I'm not doing anything this year anyway, growing out my hair doesn't seem to be the most difficult thing in the world so we're going to do that."
As for Kopech's hair, he says it's past the collar on his shirt, but it has still been longer before. He hasn't cut it since February, right before spring training.
"It probably wouldn't be under team policy right now," Kopech said.
When it comes to Kopech's rehab, it sounds like things are on schedule. Kopech is throwing bullpen sessions and said throwing to hitters in live batting practice is coming soon. He expects to be "a regular everyday guy" by the start of spring training.
"I'm feeling more athletic than I have in a long time because I've really got to work on some weaknesses of mine that I didn't get to before," Kopech said. "Mentally I'm doing great. I feel like I'm in a good point in my life, especially coming back from an injury like this."
Kopech has shown off his hiking travels on social media and got engaged in July so he's definitely been active. He misses the competition of pitching though.
"I feel like I've spent most of my life on that mound so for me it brings back a lot of emotion, but more so it brings back the competitor in me, which I think it what's been sidelined the most," Kopech said. "Physically I haven't been able to play this year, but mentally not being able to compete has been a whole different animal for me. Being able to feel like I'm close to competition and getting better everyday with my pitches on the mound, that's a big deal for me."
Michael Kopech 'feeling more athletic' during his rehab originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago