Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a major loss at the end of February when Gavin Lux sustained a torn ACL in his right knee along with some damage to the LCL during a game against the San Diego Padres.
Lux had been in line to take over the starting shortstop job after Trea Turner signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent. The 25-year-old now faces a long recovery and will be sidelined for the entire 2023 season.
“I just feel bad for him. He worked so hard this offseason and he looked so good so far in spring. It’s just tough,” Freddie Freeman said of Lux’s injury.
“As a young player, all you know is baseball. So this is going to be a tough adjustment for him. Just tough for Gavin because of how hard he worked this offseason.”
After MRI results confirmed the ACL tear, Lux said he was heartbroken and immediately shifted his focus to coming back stronger next year. Freeman tried lifting his spirits during a FaceTime call by putting his son, Charlie, on the phone.
“I texted him and then I FaceTimed him. We talked on FaceTime, it looked like he had just finished a little tear session. I told him to cry a little bit more. There’s no need to be a tough man right now,” Freeman revealed.
“You worked hard, your dream is to play baseball, and it’s taken away from you for a year. I put Charlie on FaceTime to cheer him up a little bit, and he smiled, so that was working. I just tried to cheer him up as much as I could. It’s just tough for him. I feel bad for him.”
Freddie Freeman tried motivating Gavin Lux
Freeman has developed a close relationship with Lux over the past year and was equally as crushed when he learned of the injury. The six-time All-Star is urging the young shortstop to attack his rehab so he can pick up where he left off next year.
“As you get older in this game and you see young talent like that, it’s fun. It brings energy into the clubhouse, especially when you see how hard he works,” Freeman began.
“All offseason all I kept hearing from Andrew (Friedman), Dino (Ebel) and all the guys is he’s working so hard, he looks so great. And then coming into Spring Training, he’s 10 or 15 pounds stronger, looks great, has been hitting the ball hard, defense looked wonderful.
“Freakish things happen sometimes. You get a cleat caught — that’s what he told me happened — cleat gets caught in the dirt and this happens. There’s really no words. What are words going to really do for you right now?
“All I told him is after surgery, you’ve got to beat every day. That’s it. Just beat every day and we’ll be ready for you when you come back next year.”
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