LOS ANGELES -- After playing through a right hip injury for most of the 2021 season, Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts said on Wednesday that he is recovering better than expected and doesn’t foresee undergoing any surgeries this offseason. He will be full-go come Spring Training.
“It feels great,” Betts said Wednesday. “I have to get a checkup one more time to make sure everything is going good, but right now, yeah, everything is going great.”
Betts spent months playing with the injury, but as his impact on the bases became limited, the outfielder eventually landed on the 10-day injured list in July. Once he returned, Betts was still not 100 percent. He went back on the injured list in August after playing just five games. Betts also decided to take the All-Star Game off in order to try and help his recovery.
Nothing seemed to work for Betts, who missed nearly three weeks during his second IL stint. But a cortisone shot in August did the trick. He began to feel better and the hip injury became more manageable for the last two months of the season.
Though Betts played the rest of the way -- and still posted a 4.2 bWAR season -- for the Dodgers, it appeared inevitable that the outfielder would require some sort of procedure during the offseason. At one point, Betts admitted that he thought he would eventually require surgery. There was a sense of relief for Betts and the Dodgers once the initial tests came back.
“[It’s] huge,” Betts said. "It’s surprising, but it’s also not because it did feel good towards the end of the year. I’m trying to stay out from under the knife.”
Betts’ hip certainly looked fine on Wednesday. He and his family hosted a Thanksgiving grab-and-go-event for 1,000 families in South Los Angeles. As Betts distributed boxes of food, he and his mother, Diana Benedict, showed off their dance moves.
Wednesday’s grab-and-go event was just the latest activity for Betts, who has had a busy offseason. He just returned from his bachelor party in the Dominican Republic. Betts will get married next month in L.A.
His offseason won’t involve much recruiting from Betts to the plethora of free agents that the Dodgers will look to bring back this winter. He did, however, joke that he will try to work on Corey Seager, who declined the Dodgers’ $18.4 million qualifying offer on Wednesday, at his wedding.
Regardless of who is on the roster come Opening Day, a healthy Betts hopes to lead the way.
“We’re always going to stay hungry,” Betts said. “We played good ball and you can always argue injuries and stuff like that, but we have to play better. Next year, we just have to do better and win the last game.”