Sam Fuld Taking it Slow

Cubs outfield prospect Sam Fuld missed the final month of the 2006 season at Class A Daytona. After the season ended, he underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia.

The 25-year-old Fuld played in 89 games this past season and batted .300 with four home runs, 19 doubles and 40 RBIs. He last played on July 29.

"I spent a whole lot of time trying to figure out what was wrong," Fuld said of the injury, which affected his hip, lower back and groin beginning some time in June. "I saw a doctor in Phoenix in October some time. We couldn't really diagnose it and the pain wasn't really going away."

Fuld then proceeded to see a sports hernia specialist in Philadelphia, Dr. William Meyers. Meyers performed season-ending surgery on Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, in 2005.

A Florida State League all-star this past season, Fuld reached base safely in 33 consecutive games and had a 17-game hitting streak at one point during the year. A 10th-round pick from Stanford University in 2004, he drew 40 walks and struck out 54 times to finish with an on-base percentage of .378.

"I didn't really know what to make of the injury," Fuld said. "It wasn't something that was causing me severe pain initially. Your reaction is to play and hope it goes away. It gets frustrating when it doesn't."

Fuld underwent surgery on Nov. 13 and will start swinging a bat some time after Jan. 1. He expects to be ready well before Spring Training.

"The general recovery period is only six to eight weeks and I guess I'm almost five weeks into it now," said Fuld. "I'm feeling pretty good. I think we're going to take it slow because we realize we have a good chunk of time before Spring Training starts. We're not going to rush it."

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