PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One of the starkest memories many Pirates fans have about this past season is Clint Hurdle limping out to the mound.
No more limping after successful hip replacement surgery last month.
Hurdle isn’t 100 percent healed yet, but feels so much better than he did a few months ago.
“I’m walking so much better and it’s been great in the community,” Hurdle told KDKA-TV’s Rich Walsh today in a one-on-one interview at his home in Hampton.
Before the surgery, every step Hurdle took was a painful one. It was hard not to feel badly for him.
“So many people came up to me and the first question seems to be ‘so nice not to see you limp. It was killing me to see you walk,’” Hurdle says fans would tell him.
And Hurdle says it really was agony to walk. There were a few times this season when Hurdle says his pain was almost unbearable and he thought about getting surgery sooner.
“There were enough moments where things were getting complicated enough with the bus rides, the plane rides, and I was standing up from when I woke up in the morning,” to help his daughter get ready for school. “My daughter has to get on the bus a little after 7, so I’m dealing with the hip getting up at 5:30 in the morning,” Hurdle said. “I’m going up and down the stairs. It got to a point where some of my home things were becoming hard.”
Hurdle tried everything from acupuncture to different types of stretching to try and keep the pain from getting worse. But every day was becoming more painful, and although he vowed to put off surgery until the end of the season, he admits there was a time before the All-Star break when the Pirates almost had to implement a plan B if he had to leave early.
“We did come up with a Plan B,” Hurdle said. “I am a nut. I got to the All-Star game. To walk away from an All-Star game that would be hard for me.”
The fact that it was Derek Jeter’s last game was actually a big driving force for Hurdle to be at that game.
“Jeter’s last one and I wanted to be there,” he said. “I wanted to feel it. I was there and I got to feel it and we ended up getting through the season, as horribly as I walked, we got through the season.”
Hurdle will now spend most of his time off rehabbing, stretching and enjoying nightly walks around his neighborhood.
“The hip is fine. It’s going to get better,” he said. “I’m a Pittsburgher. I’m going to roll up my sleeves and I’m going to do the rehab and the physical therapy and get it right and I won’t have to limp anymore.”
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