Eduardo Nunez: A year ago I could barely walk

Rob Bradford
February 19, 2019 - 10:42 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Just about a year ago Eduardo Nunez could barely walk. At least that's what the Red Sox' infielder remembers.

On Feb. 16, 2018, Nunez went through a workout with the Red Sox, who were trying to determine if Nunez's right knee was sound enough to warrant a contract. In the team's eyes, he passed the test.

"We're thrilled to have him signed," said Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski after signing Nunez to his two-year deal. "He did a great job for us last year. It's been a long process basically because we've been concerned about his knee. We feel comfortable that he's 100 percent ready to go, and we're absolutely thrilled that he's with us because he's a good player."

But now that he's come out of the 2018 season, and venturing into 2019 a new man, Nunez can now admit to what really transpired in those first few days of what was a delayed spring training.

"I couldn't even walk," he told WEEI.com. "I was trying to jog (in the first few weeks of spring training). Trying. The tryout started two weeks after spring training. After that tryout, I spent five days in the training room. I couldn’t even walk.

"The whole spring training I was trying to come back. It was different because I couldn’t prepare. I was just trying to come back. It’s hard in this game when you’re competing against guys who are 100 percent and you’re 40 percent."

Nunez made it to the regular season, ultimately playing in 11 spring training games. But that didn't mean all was well.

"I was nervous in the tryout. I put everything on the line. The next day I knew I had to have a couple of days of rest," Nunez said. "I was worried, for sure. I knew I could play Opening Day but I didn’t know what percent I could play at. Forty percent? Fifty percent? As spring training went I started feeling better. I put myself through tests, but my body was weak. You focus so much on (the knee) you lose everything.

"I couldn’t even dive for the ball because my knee bothered me. I felt terrible."

Nunez explained that he truly didn't feel right until August, and then he suffered an ankle injury that lingered all the way through October.

Now, however, it's a different world for the 31-year-old. Newly-married, he has hit the ground running when it comes to this camp. No matter what the position, the hesitation that lingered the last go-round at JetBlue Park is a thing of the past.

"I feel good now," he said. "They know."

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