Sandoval originally injured his foot on May 30th when he attempted to running out a groundball. He sat out the next three games and after starting the next four games, left the next in the third inning.
The exact nature of his injury has been difficult to determine, with team president Larry Baer and general manager Brian Sabean saying Sandoval has a hairline fracture in his foot, and head trainer Dave Groeschner saying he has no fracture. The team has resorted to calling this injury a left foot strain, which could be just about anything.
Sandoval likely reinjured his foot on June 9th after grounding into an inning-ending double play against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Sandoval was placed in a walking boot and began a rehab assignment yesterday in the minors as the designated hitter for Class A San Jose. The All-Star took batting practice and fielder grounders before San Francisco's game against San Diego on Tuesday.
The 26 year old "Kung Fu Panda" is hitting .289/.326/.427 with eight home runs, numbers that are only slightly lower than last year's.
The talk of the season with regards to Sandoval has been his weight. Many have pointed out the link between his injury and his current overweight status. Sandoval is listed at 240 pounds, which is 20 pounds heavier than he was last year. This is a recurring problem between Sandoval and managers: late in the 2010 season Sabean threatened to send Sandoval to the minors. Sandoval consequently lost 40 pounds over the winter, but since then he's gained it back, plus some. He's gained some leeway because of his performances, which have included two All-Star appearances and a World Series MVP award. Sandoval told reporters in April, "I'm at the weight that I feel great to play at... If you feel good, you're going to play good. And I feel great."
We'll see how Sandoval progresses after he is eligible to return from the DL on Monday. Will his "foot strain" continue to bother him? And most importantly will he continue to blow gum bubbles, like pictured above?
Reference: Sports Illustrated
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