"It's A Kick In The Groin": Atlanta Braves Hard-Luck Starter On Yet Another Injury

Well, at least it isn't the Achilles. After missing two full seasons with not one, but two Achilles tendon tears, Atlanta Braves promising young pitcher Michael Soroka has spoken out on the latest injury to sidetrack his long-awaited comeback.

This time, it's nowhere near as serious as the Achilles, or shoulder, or elbow injuries, but a tight hamstring will nevertheless shut him down for the early stages of spring training. It's precautionary, says Braves manager Brian Snitker, and with Soroka's injury history, that certainly makes sense. But that doesn't mean that Soroka has to like it.

It's a kick in the groin... Pretty frustrating... Coming down with that is not fun. But that's how it goes.

Soroka says it'll probably be a couple of weeks before he throws live batting practice, but it's already turning for the better, and he is looking forward to being a ballplayer again.

"Being able to go out there and run and float again and look like an athlete is the biggest thing I'm looking to show some of the spring staff, the training staff that have kind of been there through the tough times with me when they were watching me 'crutch around' all the time"

Soroka said he took a hamstring stretch too far in his workouts just before reporting to Braves' camp. But that's probably because he was so anxious to finally return to the mound. After an All-Star rookie season in 2019, he hasn't pitched in a major league game since 2020—and that was only three starts before the first Achilles tear.   

But here we are, almost three years later, and Soroka is just a tight hamstring away from a return.

Photo: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports