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Yost 'way ahead of schedule' in recovery

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- When Royals manager Ned Yost suffered a horrific and near-fatal 20-foot fall from a tree stand last November, it seemed highly unrealistic that his fractured pelvis would be healed enough for him to attend the team's annual FanFest event, which began Friday.

In fact, some Royals officials were concerned that Yost might not even be ready by the beginning of Spring Training next month.

KANSAS CITY -- When Royals manager Ned Yost suffered a horrific and near-fatal 20-foot fall from a tree stand last November, it seemed highly unrealistic that his fractured pelvis would be healed enough for him to attend the team's annual FanFest event, which began Friday.

In fact, some Royals officials were concerned that Yost might not even be ready by the beginning of Spring Training next month.

But Yost indeed was at FanFest, moving around without a cane or a wheelchair, smiling and greeting fans.

"Not fully recovered," Yost said. "It's going to be a while for that. They said it would be fully recovered somewhere between nine and 12 months. I'm supposed to be in a wheelchair right now but I'm way ahead of schedule.

"I'm doing everything on the farm that I normally would do. Moving stuff around, chopping firewood. I've been on the bulldozers and tractors. I get sore at night, that's about all. I get tired. Maybe I'm getting older. I go to bed at, like, 8:30 now."

With Spring Training less than three weeks away, Yost said he doesn't expect his routine to be altered too much in Arizona because of the injury.

"Not much," Yost said. "I got a watch that counts your steps. And I have had over 11,000 steps for a day at times. I'm pretty good at moving around. I think I'll be fine. I'll have a cart if I need it. I'm not going to be stupid.

"What's helped this whole thing is that I was in great shape when it happened. I was on treadmill for an hour every day and doing 500 pushups a day. That's helped the recovery, I think. It helped me come back really quick."

Earlier this month, Yost was even back in some tree stands on his farm in Georgia without any trepidation.

"What happened to me was just a freak accident," he said. "It will never happen again. It didn't freak me out to get back in a tree stand."

Yost said he hasn't replaced the tree stand that collapsed, leading to his frightening fall. But he did rename that area of his farm.

"We used to call it the 'Nearfield Stand' because it was near the field by the lake," Yost said. "Now we call it the 'Near-death-field Stand.'"

Yost also shared with reporters a funny experience he had while taking pain medications over the last two months.

"One time I got [my wife] Deb up at 2 o'clock in the morning because she put new chairs in the den," Yost said. "I asked her, 'What would possess you to put all these new chairs in the den?' And she said, 'What chairs?' I said, 'These blue chairs. I can't even sit in this chair. It folds up when I try to sit up. Why would you change the chairs?'

"Well, of course, there was nothing different. There were no new chairs. Weird stuff like that has happened sometimes."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals