So, what happened? Let Bard explain: “I had the abdominal strain. I did it back in April. Pitched through it for about a month or so, tried to pitch through it. Ended up getting an MRI in probably early-June that ended up showing a pretty good tear in there, a pretty good little strain. So that put me on the shelf where I couldn’t pick up a baseball for about three weeks.
“After three weeks, I then started tossing again. When the throwing program got a little more aggressive, they sent me down here where I could start getting off the mound and stuff because Portland was getting on a road trip, so it just made live BP’s and stuff easier to do. So, I got down here and I think after four or five days I got off the mound for the first time and threw like 30 pitches. The next day, I started feeling not good again after having gone through three weeks with no symptoms at all. So I thought it might just be some soreness from getting off the mound. I tried to give it a few days – kept throwing, kept playing catch.
“The next bullpen got bumped back a few days and it just wasn’t getting better. So we got another MRI that showed a re-tear, a little bit below the original spot. That put me back on the shelf a little bit. I didn’t pick up a ball for about 10 days, which was up until this weekend. Then I started throwing again Monday.”
Bard realizes that without the health, rediscovering the kind of on-the-field presence that once made him one of the game’s premier set-up men isn’t an option. But if the next 10-14 days does go well, and next week’s scheduled mound-work shows promise, there will still be hope for ’13.
It leads to a question Bard doesn’t mind answering: with 46 games remaining in the regular season, does the pitcher believe he can contribute something to the big league team before ‘13 is all said and done? “Yeah,” he answers without hesitation. “It seems kind of crazy to say right now considering I’ve only thrown the last three days. But, like I said, everything is feeling good and there’s just enough time let to give me two or three weeks to get going again, a couple of outings in the minors. Hopefully they’re still in need of bullpen guys because I feel like I can definitely help. I want to help.
“I’ve obviously been keeping track of the team. It looks like they’re having a lot of fun up there. I wouldn’t mind being a part of that at the end of the year.”
He's right, he does sound crazy, but hey we can hope... and nice to finally know what the deal is.