Joey Votto Has “No Timetable” For Return Date

2022 didn't go as planned for Cincinnati Reds legendary first baseman Joey Votto. Injuries completely derailed his season, allowing him to play just 91 games. And when he did play, it wasn't pretty: .205 average, career-low .689 OPS. 

The 39-year-old is recovering from August surgery to repair tears in both the rotator cuff and biceps in his left shoulder. There's no word if he'll be ready for Opening Day. And he, in fact, doesn't even want to discuss a timetable for his return.

"I don’t want to answer that question," Votto said on Wednesday, per Mark Sheldon of "I’m working toward health, being able to perform. I’ve got nothing on my mind but working toward that."

Votto says he is making good progress, but only wants to come back when he's at full strength. "I have to be in a place where I can handle the awkward moments, the rundowns, the dives, check swing, ball off the end of the bat, whatever it is, somebody throwing the ball past me, full range of motion, full finish, getting fooled on a pitch," Votto said. "These are all things that are a part of the game every single day. 

"I want to make sure when I come back, I come back ready. It’s not more complicated than that. If that’s Opening Day, if I start coming back and playing tomorrow, so be it."

And when he does come back, he'll be ready to do business. The pitch clock certainly won't be a problem for him. 

However, If Votto isn't ready to start the season, Wil Myers and catcher Tyler Stephenson are the contingency plans for first base for manager David Bell.

PHOTO: Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY Sports