I feel the need to share my story as I wish that somebody had shared a similar story with me last summer.
So on July 1st of last year, I was playing in the Top 96 Academic East showcase. As a 2012, I just wanted to get on the radar during that showcase, and was looking forward to it all spring. The spring season had been one of the best times of my life - I made the varsity team as a sophomore, and by the middle of the year, I was the starting 3B. All my life I had been told I was too small, too slow, didn't have enough power, etc you name it I've heard it. So I worked ridiculously hard in the off-season, and came out in the spring better than ever. As the spring season ended, I had all the confidence in the world, and couldn't wait to showcase my talents to the college coaches. About 2 weeks prior to the event, I began to feel some medial elbow pain. I sort of shrugged it off, put ice on it, and rested it for a little. Kept on playing for my summer team, mainly as a DH for precautionary measures. A few days before the event, I went out to throw with my dad to make sure everything felt alright - it didn't. But once again, I ignored my body and fought through it. The event started on June 30th. I performed very well on the 30th, looking very good in the infield grounders, and took a solid round of BP. For the first time, I met college coaches - it was much less scary than I imagined it to be! Sure, my elbow hurt a lot, but I was on a "baseball high" that wouldn't end, so there was no way I could stop now. After the skills day on the 30th, my dad and I stopped off at a CVS on the way home to pick up some icy/hot to rub on my elbow. As we were leaving, my mom calls my dad to let him know that she was able to schedule a doctors appointment for my elbow the day after we come home. Cool, I thought. Just get through tomorrow's games and I'll be good, with a solid start to the recruiting process. The next morning, I arrived at the ballpark. During warmups, I could hardly throw the ball 90 feet to my throwing partner. I was first just worried that the recruiters would be turned off by my "bad" arm, and frustrated because 3 weeks earlier (before the pain), I had been clocked at 82 mph from SS-1B. Solid for a 2012, who never really threw above 70 before this offseason. Regardless, I blocked out the pain with about 8 advils and continued to play. I went through the game feeling worse than ever, just praying that the game would end before I had to make another throw. Even at bat my elbow hurt. Finally, the 7th inning came. I had made it this far, certainly there was no harm in finishing up a solid baseball weekend. The first basemen threw me a warm-up grounder. I fielded it like any other grounder, then went to throw like any other throw I had made all week. However, as I released the ball, I heard a "pop," followed by ridiculous elbow pain. Embarrassingly enough, I had to ask a college coach (a school that I am very interested in...he has actually checked up on my many times to see how I am doing now) for assistance to come off the field, and to see a trainer. I could not move my arm from the 90 degree position. I had fractured my medial epicondyle bone, the same thing that Joel Zumaya did here, just 2 days before I did: http://www.myfoxtwincities.com...-injury-june-29-2010 . As I headed to the parking lot with my dad, I finally began to cry. All the hard work that I had put in to becoming a college prospect had vanished in my mind. I didn't think that I would be able to play during my junior year, which meant no college baseball for me. I was devastated. The next day, I went into surgery. They moved the part of the elbow back into place, and inserted a screw. When I awoke from surgery, I felt a strong numbness in my hand. The screw had been placed right alongside my Ulnar nerve. Two days after the first surgery, I had to go under again to get my ulnar nerve moved. Now, not only was I demoralized because baseball had been taken away from me, I had the single most annoying numbness in my hand constantly. It was as if somebody was hitting your funny bone over and over again. Not fun. About two weeks after the surgery, I got a moveable brace. The doctor told me to try as much as I can to regain full extension in my elbow. He said that typically, this would take about 3 months and that most patients can only spend about 10 minutes a day trying to straighten it out due to the pain that it causes. He assured me that it will not put my back if I try to push the limits to extension. At this time, I didn't care at all about pain, I just wanted to play baseball. I would spend 5 or 6 hours a day simply straightening my elbow. I had full extension back within 2.5 weeks. Next, was to regain flexion. Same story. Overall, within 1.5 months, I had complete range of motion. My doctor was astonished, as was I. I started PT in August, regaining strength and stability. I graduated from that to an intense strength and condition program to regain total body strength that I had lost. I began to hit and throw. Everything was finally coming back together. By March, I became stronger, faster, and more powerful than I had ever been. During my high school spring training trip to Florida, I hit two home runs - something that I had never done before, not even in little league. Last week, I finally decided to get a numerical value of my recovery with seeing SS-1B arm velo. I was 84 mph, 2 mph faster than I was prior to my injury. Right now, I am about a quarter through my high school season, enjoying great success and having so much fun. This summer I have an incredible schedule playing on a top prospect summer team that should be lots of fun and get me tons of exposure. My numbness in my hand is almost all gone. I have no elbow pain. I am writing this today to let those of you who have recently suffered a season-ending injury know that it will all turn out well in the end if you dedicate yourself to your recovery. Don't get discouraged. When not playing baseball to get you into college, study for college tests. I was able to raise my SAT score significantly. There is always something you can do as an injured baseball player to help you play at the next level. Don't give in to how much it sucks. Those of you injured right now, I wish you the best of luck. Stay strong and be positive.