Emotional Jung details frustration with wrist injury

April 7th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Kennedi Landry's Rangers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ARLINGTON -- recently walked into the Rangers’ clubhouse, his right arm in a cast as he made his way to his locker.

He told local reporters that he’d prepared a statement, fearing he would get too emotional fielding questions from the scrum. Jung gained inspiration from a statement put out by Lakers legend Kobe Bryant after he ruptured his left Achilles tendon in April 2013.

Jung sustained a fractured right wrist when he was hit by a pitch during the Rangers’ 9-3 win over the Rays on Monday. He had surgery in Phoenix the following day.

“He kind of helped me write this and kind of get through some of the feelings that I've been feeling over the past couple days,” Jung said.

Jung spoke with tears in his eyes, addressing his injury while reading off his phone’s Notes app:

“This is such B.S. All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one pitch; a pitch I've seen a million times. The frustration was unbearable. The anger is rage. The words are few and far in between. Why did this happen to me again? It just makes no damn sense. Now I'm supposed to come back from my fourth surgery in four years and be better than I left again.

“Do I have the constant willpower to overcome all of these things? What lessons do I still need to learn? Maybe this is the breaking point. Maybe this is the point of no return. Or maybe this is the story I'll be able to tell standing at the top of a mountain. Real perspective sinks in when you can get all your emotions finally out. There are far greater issues and challenges in the world other than a broken bone. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, the same drive and the same conviction as ever.

“One day will be the end of the road, but that day is not today. Today you will rise up; today you will stand up again. The test of a man is that when he is knocked down seven times, he stands up eight. No matter what you go through, you will endure it, and you will conquer it and you will come back better than ever. Believe it. Live it. It is just another obstacle standing in your way on the path to achieving greatness.”

Jung’s surgery was successful, but his wrist had a bit more extensive damage than originally thought. While the initial timeline after X-rays showed around six weeks of recovery time, Jung is now looking at closer to eight to 10 weeks, according to general manager Chris Young.

Jung got off to a hot start in 2024, going 7-for-17 (.412) with two walks, one double, one triple and two homers through the first four games. Now, the rest of his season is on hold for the fourth consecutive year.

“I don’t show my frustration or my emotions or feelings very often,” Jung said about why he put out the statement. “This one just hurt worse.”

In 2023, Jung slashed .266/.315/.467 with 23 homers in his first full big league season, but he landed on the injured list for six weeks with a fractured left thumb.

Three of Jung’s last four Spring Trainings have also begun with injuries, including a strained left calf this season that kept him out until the final week of Cactus League games. He sustained a stress fracture in his left foot going into camp in 2021, and then he tore the labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder while lifting weights during camp in '22, both of which delayed his MLB debut until September ‘22.

“He is down about it,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Shoot, I get it. … It's just putting in work every day. You’ve got to put in work on the rehab to get back to where you are. That kid works as hard as anybody.”