BOSTON—The maxim “No pain, no gain” is certainly applicable in sports. For Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, he is indeed playing with pain. According to a report from WEEI’s Full Count blog, he has been playing with a separated rib. This means that his rib bone has been torn from the cartilage that connects it to the sternum. This causes Middlebrooks to have pain when he breathes, in addition to when he hits and throws. . As he noted, Thursday night in particular was an instance where the pain became excruciating.
I just went to John [Lackey] and said, ‘Hey, give me a second.’ I couldn’t catch my breath. I still can’t. I take that deep breath and just, the swelling — I don’t know if it’s in my lungs or just the muscles around it or it spasmed up,” Middlebrooks recounted. “I just told John and said, ‘Hey, let me have a sec.’ He called them in and I was like, ‘Ugh.’ He said, ‘I thought you were going to have a heart attack and just wanted to get them out there. Plus, it gives you a little extra time.’ I just needed a sec. I’d just hit that double and I just couldn’t catch my breath.
He says that he can play through this condition and that was evident on Thursday as he went 1-4 with a double and recorded seven assists in the field.
The way he has played through this injury, the Greenville, Texas native has truly embodied the trademark “dirt dog” nature that was a product of Red Sox teams from the past. Hopefully, he can recover and become a key centerpiece this season for the Local Nine.