Dustin Pedroia on knee surgery: 'Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have done it'

John Tomase
February 15, 2019 - 10:09 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- If Dustin Pedroia could do it all again, he wouldn't.

The Red Sox second baseman, attempting yet another comeback from extensive knee surgery, acknowledged on Friday that he'd make a different choice if confronted with the same options.

"No, I wouldn't have done it," Pedroia said. "I just, I mean, I don't regret doing it, but looking back and knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have done it. You know what I mean?"

Pedroia underwent cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee shortly after the 2017 season, including a graft of donor tissue from a cadaver. He was supposed to return on Memorial Day last year, but appeared in only three games before shutting it down.

And so now here we are again, with the Red Sox hoping Pedroia can play 125 games, but reality suggesting that could be a challenge. Given everything he knows about the last two years, Pedroia would've opted for rehab.

"Yeah, change rehab styles, treatment styles, things like that," he said. "It's a complicated surgery. The cartilage in my knee is great now, but the graft is the thing. You're putting somebody else's bone in your body. To get that to incorporate fully, there's so many things that -- and going into it I didn't know all that stuff. I thought they were like, 'You have a -- you tore this, we can fix it.' I'm like, 'Oh that sounds great.' But I didn't know. I didn't go to medical school, which I probably could have, but I didn't know all that stuff at the time."

Knuckleballer Steven Wright recently admitted he accepts that his knee will never be 100 percent again. Pedroia was asked if he feels similarly.

"Do I get my knee 100 percent?" he replied. "Well, (expletive), it ain't even my knee. It's somebody else's, bro. My right knee is 100 percent."

Could the other guy's knee be 100 percent?

"No, they wouldn't tell me," he said with a laugh.

He's feeling positive at the moment, taking groundballs and batting practice.

"I just look at it like I'm OK, but I have to be smart because if I play out of control or do something, I could wake up the next day and it could be bad," he said. "I don't want to work for as long as I have to mess that up. I know everyone thinks I'm crazy and I won't listen to anybody, but that's not the case. I want to make sure that I'm on the field and doing all I can to help us win."

As for his ability to play a full season, or two-thirds of a season, or no season at all, Pedroia can't think beyond tomorrow.

"I've been around long enough to know, especially around here, you can't look that far ahead," he said. "I remember they were saying that in 2016, too, and I got 11 straight hits and played for like 40 straight games. You never know. I could wake up tomorrow and not be able to play anymore. But I'm confident where I am now. I'm excited. We have a good plan in place. Have to be smart. Don't get emotional. And just enjoy what I love doing."