Roy Halladay’s surgery is over, and the incredibly intense recovery process is underway.
July 18, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay (34) is checked on by the team trainer during the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
That leaves things up to Phillies head trainer Dr. Michael Ciccotti, who has the unenviable task of relaying information to a ravenous public over the course of the next few weeks.
Any change in wording or facial expression will be recorded, should it happen to veer from what was stated originally. Every bit of phrasing, every stolen glimpse, every twitch – or was that a purposeful wink? Was Dr. Ciccotti signaling me to meet him in the hallway for an exclusive?
After six hours of waiting the hallway, I can confirm that no, he wasn’t. But that’s the sort of thing Ciccotti, his staff, and Phillies management will have to worry about in the near future.
Take for example yesterday, at the Phillies Phestival; a day set aside for celebration, merriment, and increasingly uncomfortable handshakes. Ciccotti, in attendance and just wanting to meet some of his fans, was forced to answer questions about Roy Halladay, and put together a fragile paragraph of words in regards to Doc returning before the end of the year.
"“That’s very possible… Roy is feeling very good. He will be out of his sling very quickly. He’ll start on a rehab program that we’ll coordinate here. He’ll be doing range-of-motion exercises, followed by strengthening. And we will really see how he progresses. And if he gets to the point where he feels like he can pick up a ball and start tossing, then that would be our hope. That will be dependent on how he feels, but it could be anywhere from six to eight weeks from now. And then his progression from that point will obviously be how he is with his throwing.–Dr. Michael Ciccotti, via Delco Times"
“Six to eight.”
These are the words we shall lodge in our heads, and expect to be repeated, unless development occurs and we can say something else, regardless of Dr. Ciccotti’s feelings.
Some people – stronger than others – are forced to realize at the Phillies Phestival that they may not be as popular as they hoped, yet.