Jacob DeGrom opens up after elbow surgery: The hardest part of the back

Texas Rangers quarterback Jacob DeGrom is looking toward the future with more optimism now that his season-ending surgery is over.

The former Mets player underwent surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm and will miss the rest of the season and most of next year.

Still, there was an optimistic tone when he met reporters Sunday at Globe Life Field for the first time since the procedure.

“The hardest part is behind me,” DeGrum said, according to MLB.com. “This is what I was dreading, getting into it and getting it done. Now it’s over, and I’m looking forward to doing all the rehab stuff to get back out there. … Nobody wants to undergo surgery. This is the last thing you want to do. We want to play there. Then reality begins. Now that it’s over, like you said, everything is trying to get back out there. So we put together a plan of what to do each day, and that makes it a lot easier.”

DeGrom was excited that he had a plan ahead of him for his return to the mound, though that wouldn’t come until the end of the summer of 2024.

He is not expected to compete with Rangers until August 2024, which will be roughly 14 months after he went through end-of-season procedures.

DeGrom underwent surgery on June 12 at TMI Sports Medicine in Arlington, however, the Rangers have never determined if it was Tommy John surgery or an internal brace.

The Associated Press reports that recovery time from Tommy John surgery is usually 12 to 14 months.

DeGrom, who turns 35 on Monday, signed a five-year, $185 million contract with the Rangers in December and made six starts before injury got the better of him.

The Texans won all six games he was on the mound for and DeGrum had 45 strikeouts in 30.1 innings pitched.

DeGroom had nine seasons at Queens, the last two of which were riddled with injury issues, before he left for the Lone Star State this offseason.

He dealt with a similar problem in 2010, not long after the Mets drafted him 272nd overall in the MLB draft.

“I know what it takes to come back,” DeGrum said. “It takes a lot of hard work and commitment to the program, not trying to do too much. This is where the first time got tricky. I felt good and really wanted to continue.”

DeGrum was able to watch the last few games with his Rangers teammates on the field in order to keep him out of harm’s way while he recovered.

He told reporters that the club did not want him in the dugout in case he was accidentally bumped into by someone.

“I was hanging out with the guys, you know. “It’s nice to have you around,” said DeGrume. “Being able to come here and be around guys definitely makes it easier. You’re not just sitting alone, you still feel like you’re somewhat part of the team.”

The Rangers had gone into Sunday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays with a four-game lead in the AL West and at 43-27, the Texans were one of the best teams in the American League.

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