Bregman rehabbing with long term in mind

August 11th, 2021

HOUSTON – Astros third baseman maintained Wednesday that his return to the lineup is imminent, though the complicated nature of his injury and his history of soft-tissue injuries in his legs have clouded the rehab process and dragged it on longer than he had previously hoped.

An upbeat Bregman provided reporters with an update of his progress in the dugout at Minute Maid Park prior to Wednesday’s game against the Rockies, saying the process is moving in the right direction, though it’s been unpredictable. Bregman has been out of the Astros lineup since straining his left quadriceps muscle while running the bases June 16.

“I wish I could have two months ago been like, ‘This is the day I’m going to be back playing,’” he said. “But it’s just not the case with these types of injuries. Getting really close. I feel like everything is going in the right direction and continuing to improve.”

The quad injury is the latest soft-tissue injury for Bregman, who missed 17 games last year after straining his right hamstring while running the bases Aug. 19 in Colorado. He strained his right hamstring in April 2019 and missed two games. In September 2016 -- at the end of his rookie year -- he missed two weeks after straining his hamstring running the bases.

Bregman has been working extensively to strengthen and stretch his legs, while trying to figure out why he’s had so many soft-tissue injuries. He said he plans to talk to doctors from Australia who have worked with soccer players to help him find preventative measures.

“Overall, everything is going in the right direction -- the hamstring feels great, the quad’s feeling great,” he said. “Now it’s just … finding a little bit of timing before I come back. I’m seeing the ball great, just not getting many hits. I’m walking a lot, which I like, and swinging only at strikes and not swinging and missing. It’s just maybe a smidge further out front catching a fastball and a smidge deeper catching an offspeed pitch would make me feel more like the regular season. Then you hit the ball out of the park and you don’t have to run anyway. Doesn’t matter.”

In addition to learning his body, Bregman has had to learn patience through the rehab process. He’s trying to take one day at a time instead of looking too far ahead and not trying to have target dates for a return. Those dates are proven to be fluid and have added to the frustration level.

“I want to play, but I’ve got to make sure I’m healthy for my teammates and for the long haul,” Bregman said.

Bregman played in seven games during a Minor League rehab assignment last week at Triple-A Sugar Land, going 2-for-21 with six walks. He played in consecutive games on Friday and Saturday before the Astros decided to temporarily end his rehab assignment and bring him back to Houston for further treatment. Bregman hopes to return to Sugar Land this week and resume playing for the Skeeters.

“There’s some things that we’re really focused on in the rehabilitation process that are going to prepare me to not have this happen again,” he said. “That’s No. 1. Not only coming back but coming back stronger and coming back for the rest of the season. It’s been a weird process. It’s been different than any rehab I’ve ever had. It’s a little worse than the ones I’ve had in the past. Now that we’re moving in the direction, we’re super close.

“We’ll probably play a few more games and hopefully be back shortly. I just want to be back for the long haul. I get a little excited and I want to play and I want to be back and I say, ‘I’m ready soon!’ Realistically, it’s really smart what we’re doing and taking time and making sure it doesn’t happen again. The more time that I have healed and more time I put into rehab, the better off for longevity I’ll be.”