San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham admitted Sunday he was lucky to even be taking the field for the team after being stabbed outside a gentleman’s club in October.
Pham spoke publicly about the incident for the first time while talking to reporters at spring training. He was stabbed in the lower back and needed surgery and extensive rehab to recover.
“I’m lucky. I’m lucky to even be able to play,” Pham said, via MLB.com.
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He added he still has a little bit to go before he is 100% again.
“From a strength, rotational standpoint, when we test, my numbers are pretty high compared to everyone else,” Pham said, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “The only thing I’m really lacking is squatting and dead lifting. My norms aren’t there. You don’t have to squat a lot or dead lift a lot to be a good baseball player.
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“From a running standpoint … I’m not too far off from my best. Just physically, I can’t squat a lot or dead lift a lot. My back is just not ready. My swing, rotation and all that is fine. I’ve been hitting for a long time, actually. I’ve been throwing, hitting, doing all my baseball stuff for a couple months. Just physically, from the lower body standpoint, I’m not there.”
Pham is entering his second season with the Padres. In 31 games last season, he hit .211 with three home runs. The 32-year-old said he knows a lot is riding on him this season.
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“I probably have the most to prove,” he said. “I had a terrible year. … Plus, this is my free agent year as well. So I feel like I have the most to prove.”