Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider has recalled the dizzying moment when Ryu Hyun-jin was injured.
“Schneider said he was speechless when he saw Ryu go down,” Canadian media outlet Sportsnet Canada reported on 9 September 스포츠토토 (KST).
Ryu nearly suffered a horrific injury on 8 August against Cleveland. A 98-mph fastball struck Ryu in the right knee.
Ryu was hit by a ball hit by Oscar Gonzalez with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning with the score tied 0-0. Ryu could have gone down immediately, but he fought to complete his follow-through. He made it to first base before falling on the field.
It was a heartbreaking moment.
Ryu underwent Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament repair) in June 2022. After more than a year of rehabilitation, he barely made it back. His start on 2 August was crucial to his recovery after a five-inning, four-run loss in Baltimore.
Ryu threw a perfect game until the top of the fourth inning. It was a victory parade that signalled a spectacular comeback. But just as it was about to turn into a celebration, a bullet hit Ryu in the knee.
“It reminded me of all the hard work Ryu has put in to come back from his elbow injury,” Schneider said. I thought, ‘There’s no way the past year of hard work can end like this,'” Schneider said, admitting that he feared he would lose Ryu in a week after his 426-day comeback.
“He’s a big, strong guy,” Schneider said. “Everyone on the field rallied around him and thought, ‘This can’t be the end,'” Schneider said. I think everyone on the field was holding their breath.”
Schneider was right, Ryu was strong. It appeared to be a simple bruise. Further x-rays showed nothing wrong. Ryu is expected to start at 2:37 a.m. on Thursday at home against the Chicago Cubs.
“I’m optimistic that he’s going to have a good outing,” Schneider said, hinting that it’s unlikely he’ll be out of the rotation. However, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins was cautious, saying, “It’s a sensitive area, so we’ll have to wait and see.”