Moviel Staying Positive Despite Setback

Scott Moviel is returning from a knee injury

2009 was going to be a year of movement for the 2007 second round pick. Scott Moviel was looking ahead to a spot in the St. Lucie rotation coming off his first full season in which he built momentum in the second half. However, a knee injury cut down the 6-foot-11 right-hander in January but he is staying positive as he eyes a mid-season return.

This was not the spring Scott Moviel had in mind when he concluded the 2008 with five shutout innings in his St. Lucie debut last August. He knew he would not pitch in off-season camps after reaching his 125-inning cap, but he did not expect to be in a surgeon's office in January after tearing his right meniscus during conditioning drills and then again two months later after re-injuring the same knee.

Back in January, he faced the unenviable choice of having enough surgery to be ready for Spring Training or have the full surgery and be out the usual 2 to 3 months. He ultimately made the choice that would be best for him long term.

"The first injury in January was a pretty big tear in my meniscus and Dr. Coleman in New York told me that if he went in, cleared it up, cut the tear out that I could be back and ready for Spring Training, break with St. Lucie and play the whole year," said Moviel.

Yet, just clearing up the knee without a full repair of the cartilage would expose Moviel to possible arthritic symptoms later in his career. That was not a risk he was willing to take.

"I was going to just get it cleaned out, but then I thought about later on down the road that if it get to the big leagues, and do everything I want to do, arthritis is not something I'm going want to deal with," he explained.

Moviel was all set to begin his throwing program after three months of rehabbing, but then the worst possible setback occurred. He again tore the meniscus during a drill in the weight room. This time, however, he was more fortunate.

"Luckily, 80 percent of the tear from the first surgery healed so this time they just went in and cut out a little piece of cartilage that tore again. I basically walked out of the surgery room and now I've got 6 to 8 weeks and I'll be ready to go," Moviel detailed.

The ideal time line for Moviel has him throwing at 45 feet by the end of this week or next and in 6 to 7 weeks running at full gait, with a return around the All-Star Break if everything goes well. However, he admitted to the second injury was a tough pill to swallow.

"Last year I learned a lot and the first half was a huge learning period for me, but I put everything together in the second half and looking forward to this year," he said.

"I know I'd be learning a lot more at a higher level. I was hoping to maybe make it to Binghamton at the end of the year like I did with St. Lucie last year."

Moviel felt down for a while, disappointed that he will miss half of the season after gaining such valuable momentum at the end of last season. But like most athletes he knows maintaining a positive attitude is an intangible key to a successful return.

"At first, when I hurt my knee in January, I thought I'd be put on the shelf and forgotten, but the Mets and the coaches had confidence in me and were very supportive and that keeps me positive every day."

" What also keeps me positive is seeing guys who have Tommy John and have a year off, so I can't really feel to bad when I have just four months off. It's a bump in the road that could make me stronger in the long run so maybe this will be good for me."

" I have some days where I'm watching the St. Lucie guys prepare for the game and it's hard, but I know I can do the work to get back up there and I'll be fine," he closed.

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