Furcal Returns to Dodgers after Successful Surgery

Rafael Furcal had enough of the pain, enough of the setbacks and rehabilitation and complications.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were in Colorado. Angel Berroa was the regular shortstop and they were winning, but Furcal could not play. The back of his left leg was burning again, and it hurt, and he was so tired of it all. He was getting on a plane the next day, returning to LA for a quick consultation with his surgeon, Robert Watkins, and then going home.

“I don’t want to screw everybody up,” he said. “I don’t feel like I can play 100 percent, like I used to.” Soon after the surgery, Furcal took a shaky at-bat, his first since early May, when the back pain had become too great to bear. By the end of the regular season, he had nine more at-bats. The team had Furcal batting leadoff, playing shortstop, running the bases, energizing the clubhouse and dugout.

“I’m getting there,” he said, the past three weeks having brought stability to his lower back and hamstrings, and just in time for Game 1 against the Cubs. “I feel much better. I feel like every at-bat I take is a good at-bat.”