SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was activated from the 10-day injured list Friday in time for the opener of a highly anticipated series against the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Tatis had been out since suffering a partially dislocated left shoulder while taking a violent swing on April 6.
Tatis was in the starting lineup and batting second for the Padres, whose first playoff run in 14 seasons ended when they were swept by the Dodgers in the NL Division Series in October.
While Tatis’ injury startled the Padres and their fans, team officials said doctors assured them the electrifying 22-year-old couldn’t do any further damage to the shoulder if he continued playing this season.
Tatis has been dealing with left shoulder discomfort since his minor league days and came out of a game in spring training after making a backhanded play and throwing to first. He was back two days later.
Manager Jayce Tingler said that while the team won’t ask Tatis to change his hard-charging style of play, it does want him to use a two-handed follow through on swings and pick and choose when to slide headfirst. They also expect him to follow a daily regimen of treatment and exercises.
Tingler says the team and its medical staff have spent the last 7-10 days discussing with Tatis how to minimize risk.
“Look, these things are going to be happening in the game,” Tingler said. “We’re just trying to do the best we can at talking about, what are some of the danger points or the high-risk levels? The last thing we want is here in a couple days, a couple weeks, a couple months, is something happening again. We’ve got a long year this year and obviously he’s got a long career ahead of him.”
Tatis, whose father played in the big leagues, signed a $340 million, 14-year contract on Feb. 22, the longest deal in baseball history.
The Padres optioned rookie utility man Tucupita Marcano to make room for Tatis.
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