By Erin K. Blakeley, Knee1 Staff
Mark McGwire could not have written a more fitting story for his return to action this week. The Cardinal’s All-Star first baseman slapped a solo homerun over the outfielder’s heads in his first game back to play on Memorial Day. McGwire has been out of action since a brief-appearance in mid-April. He has been recovering from knee surgery last October to repair a damaged tendon in his right knee.
Three years ago, McGwire became the most-recognized name in baseball, when he stroked his way into the record books with 70 home runs in a single season, an all-time record for Major League Baseball. McGwire’s duel with power hitter Sammy Sosa for the records was the focus of national attention in October of 1998. McGwire was subsequently named to baseball’s All-Century team in 1999, and was sitting atop the baseball world.
However, as unworldly as McGwire seemed, he was not above injury. He spent two months on the disabled list in 2000 after injuring the tendon in his knee. While the Cardinals shone in the final months of the last season, winning the National League Central Division title, McGuire was relegated to pinch-hitting duties. When the season ended, baseball’s premiere hitter underwent surgery to repair the damaged tendon.
Patellar tendonitis, the condition from which McGwire suffered, is among then most common injuries in the world of sports. The patellar tendon covers the patella and connects the quadriceps muscle of the thigh to the Tibia, or shinbone. When the tendon becomes inflamed due to overuse or injury, the result is severe pain around the kneecap. Physical activity, such as running, only worsens the condition.
The surgery a distant memory, McGwire was back in business, as he went 2 for 3 with the solo home run in the sixth inning. The Cardinals are tied with the Chicago Cubs for first place in their division. With McGwire back in the line-up, it looks like the top spot in the central division may be a season-long duel.
St. Louis Cardinals