KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nine years ago, Alex Gordon opted for surgery. A discomfort in his hip wouldn't vanish, and so at 25 years old, an entire career in front of him, Gordon chose the long-term route.
This time, he's hoping a different option will prove just as effective. The Royals placed Gordon on the disabled list on Tuesday with a labral tear in his left hip, an injury he suffered on a slide into second base in Cleveland over the weekend.
Although it's the opposite hip that required surgery in 2009, the injury is nearly identical, he acknowledged Thursday, his first time speaking with the media since the injury. But rather than going through another operation, Gordon is hopeful a medical injection will solve the discomfort.
"Honestly, kinda the same," Gordon said when comparing the feeling of the two hip injuries. "But I feel like I'm in a different stage in my career right now where surgery's kinda the last thing I wanna do right now."
Gordon, who was hitting .174 (4 for 23) with a double through seven games, felt a twinge as he slid into second base in Sunday's game against the Indians in Cleveland. He thought perhaps his body had locked up from the cold weather. But when he awoke Monday, the irritation remained.
After diagnosing the injury, the Royals medical staff determined Gordon could rest and return without surgery, an option that many players with labral tears favor.
"Get the shot, hopefully it heels quickly and I can go out there and play without any pain," Gordon said. "I know a lot of guys do it, so hopefully it responds well."
After receiving the shot three days ago, Gordon said he already feels "pretty good," but he's yet to truly test the hip. He has been prescribed rest.
That will change later this week, as soon as Friday, when his rehab will begin to include exercises and training activities. Afterwards, Gordon will have a better idea if the injection will be enough.
"They're pretty optimistic about it," Gordon said of the team's training staff. "The first thing they said is this doesn't have to be surgery. That was a good sign. You hear labral tear, and you kinda get down in the dumps. But they said that. They said (they) don't think it's gonna be surgery. So that's a good sign."