SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It was around mid-January when D-backs right fielder Kole Calhoun started to feel something was up with his right knee.
It would get a little sore, almost like a bruise he said, but then it would loosen up and feel fine.
Calhoun has his vertical leap measured every offseason, along with his time in a 20-yard dash. Neither metric showed there was reason for concern -- clinically, everything checked out when he took his pre-camp physical.
When Spring Training opened, Calhoun took some anti-inflammatory medication and received soft tissue work on the area daily. After he still experienced issues the team had him go for an MRI and the diagnosis was a medial meniscus tear.
Surgery was performed Wednesday and Calhoun was back at Salt River Fields on crutches Thursday.
The average recovery time from this type of surgery is around four-to-six weeks and Calhoun is counting on it being sooner rather than later.
"I think four weeks, I don't think [that] should be off the table," Calhoun said. "That's what I'm going to shoot for and hopefully be back pretty close to Opening Day is my goal. We'll see how much of that they let me do."
Knowing what he knows now, Calhoun would have had the MRI done in January rather than March, but he honestly did not think it was an issue.
"To be honest, I was pretty [ticked] at myself when I got a torn meniscus diagnosis and, like, yeah, I could have got this looked at a little bit earlier," he said. "But when I'm able to go through all my training and hit, and it just tells me it feels like a bruise, it's a bruise, you know? I had to test it in my own mind. Gave it a week, doing soft tissue every day, got on some anti-inflammatories. Some of that helped, but obviously didn't knock it all the way out. Thought it was time to really get it looked at."
While the timing is not ideal, it could be worse. Even if Calhoun is out for six weeks, he would only miss two weeks of the regular season.
"I think this is the right decision, especially being so early," he said. "If this was August and we're fighting for a spot, I’d probably take a shot. But being March, the ability to be back within the first couple weeks of the season leaves me optimistic about being able to do what I want to do this year."
Assuming that they will be without him at least initially when the season opens, the D-backs have begun looking at alternatives to Calhoun in right field.
Pavin Smith, Daulton Varsho, Tim Locastro, Trayce Thompson, Wyatt Mathisen, Josh VanMeter and Andy Young are among the candidates.