Ahmed supporting D-backs from sidelines

September 26th, 2021

PHOENIX -- As the D-backs beat the Dodgers, 7-2, on Saturday night, shortstop sat in the home dugout at Chase Field wearing a hoodie and desperately wanting to be part of the action.

Inflammation in his right shoulder -- bursitis, Ahmed said it's been diagnosed as -- has kept him off the field since Sept. 17 and has likely ended his season, but Ahmed isn't ready to call it quits with seven games left on the schedule.

"I’m not going to make a decision on that now," Ahmed said. "Candidly, just spoke with [manager] Torey [Lovullo] about what my status kind of does to our roster. Obviously, that can be a concern at times -- knowing that if I’m not healthy to take an at-bat or swing or play, we're down a man."

Ahmed initially injured the shoulder when he jammed it while diving for a ball during Summer Camp in 2020. He was able to push through the shortened 60-game schedule and it improved with an offseason of rest.

Then, in May of this year, he jammed it again. And just when it started to feel better, it happened again.

"Every time I aggravated it, it just got worse and got harder to kind of get the inflammation out and get it to where it was playable," Ahmed said. "It just started to affect too much of my ability to throw and throw off-balance and hit. The last several weeks here were not very good. It just got to the point where I was doing more harm to myself than it was worth doing to go out and compete every day."

Ahmed said he does not believe the shoulder will need surgery; rather, an injection of platelet rich plasma or cortisone might be the preferred course of treatment.

Meanwhile, Ahmed wants to set an example for Arizona's young roster that, regardless of the record or your place in the standings, you play hard until the end of the season.

"That's just in my DNA," Ahmed said. "I'm never going to quit. I'm never going to give up. I'm never going to give less than my best effort. I guess hopefully, our young guys know that. Hopefully they see that. Hopefully they do that themselves. It's the kind of culture and team we want to have here."

With two years left on his contract, Ahmed figures to be part of setting that culture going forward.

Ahmed was relieved when D-backs GM Mike Hazen announced Thursday that Lovullo would return in 2022 on a one-year deal with a club option for 2023.

"I’m excited to have him back and just not have so much unknown going into the offseason," Ahmed said. "He and I and some other people have had a lot of conversations about how we can get our team and our organization better. Without knowing he's coming back, it's hard to really fully dive deep into that. Knowing that he's coming back, we're going to have further conversations. I just have a bunch of ideas to share on things we can do better. Hopefully, we'll get those things operating and we'll be in a better spot next year."