SAN FRANCISCO -- Admitting that riding a motorized dirt bike was "definitely not the most responsible decision I've made," Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner vowed to remain "as positive as I can be" when he launches his comeback from spraining the AC joint in his pitching shoulder and sustaining bruised ribs.Speaking
SAN FRANCISCO -- Admitting that riding a motorized dirt bike was "definitely not the most responsible decision I've made," Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner vowed to remain "as positive as I can be" when he launches his comeback from spraining the AC joint in his pitching shoulder and sustaining bruised ribs.
Speaking publicly for the first time since his accident occurred outside Denver last Thursday, when the Giants had a scheduled off-day, Bumgarner indicated he felt he let the team down by sidelining himself.
"I think it's pretty clear I don't want to be in this situation," said Bumgarner, whose throwing arm remained in a sling for immobilization. "I don't want to put [teammates] in this situation. This organization, the fans, the city. ... It's terrible. Obviously that was not my intentions when I set out to enjoy the off-day."
Bumgarner, 27, thanked the organization for its supportiveness toward him. He said there was no talk of discipline or punishment when he spoke with general manager Bobby Evans and team president Larry Baer.
"They honestly couldn't have been nicer to me or more caring than they were," Bumgarner said. "I was expecting the worst and rightfully so. The team and the front office and everybody have been super encouraging, been really good to me throughout this process so far."
The length of Bumgarner's recovery process remains uncertain. Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said Bumgarner will undergo another MRI to determine whether the sprain is Grade 1 or Grade 2. The team's medical staff also is canvassing various physicians for second opinions. Bumgarner said his gut feeling was that he sustained no serious structural damage.
"We don't really have a timetable yet, because we have to gather all the information," Groeschner said. "... I think in the next one to two days we'll have a better idea."
Groeschner offered the reminder that once Bumgarner is able to throw again, he'll have to condition his arm as if Spring Training was just beginning.
"That's going to be the toughest part," Groeschner said. "... We have to build him up to 100 pitches again, right? That will take time in itself once we get to that point."
Groeschner declined to speculate whether Bumgarner, a four-time All-Star, would pitch again this season. Said Bumgarner, "It's hard to put a timetable on it but I would certainly be disappointed if I wasn't [able to perform in 2017]."
Recounting his fateful outing, Bumgarner said he and two family members were tooling around a dirt course in the mountains outside Denver and were nearly done with their ride when the mishap occurred on the Honda he was piloting.
Asked to explain what happened, Bumgarner said, "When you ask that question, I wish I had some kind of cool story for you that it was some kind of crazy wreck, but it really wasn't."
Bumgarner said he has plenty of experience riding dirt bikes.
"It's kind of just what I've done most of my life," he said. "Obviously it wasn't the best decision to go Thursday."
Bumgarner said he couldn't recall previously riding dirt bikes during the regular season: "We don't get a whole lot of opportunities, obviously."
Lying about his injury, which a handful of professional athletes have done in similar situations, never occurred to Bumgarner.
"That's just not who I am," he said. "If you're going to do stuff like that, you've got to be honest about it. Obviously that doesn't make the fact of the matter any better, but that's just not who I am. I didn't see any reason to try to lie about it."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.