D-backs' Cody Ross almost ready for comeback 6 months after brutal hip injury

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- After Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross' devastating hip injury last August, he wondered if he would be able to do the simple things in life, like playing in the backyard with his kids.

But just six months later, the professional athlete has his sights set on goals that include a full comeback to Major League baseball. He hopes to be in the dugout before the end of Spring Training and on the roster by opening day.

After hitting a grounder to third base against the Mets at Chase Field last summer, Ross says his cleat got caught on something, and he tripped on his way to first base. The play would have a horrible ending.

"Instead of diving head first when I tripped, I decided, the bag was right there, I was just going to try and reach for it," recalls Ross during a 3TV interview at Salt River Fields. "And when I did, my knee hyper extended and all the force went out my hip and dislocated it."

As it turned out, Ross's injury was worse than just a dislocation. When discussing the moment his hip popped out of the socket, he explains that, "...in the process, it hit the socket and broke a piece off the back wall."

"I actually asked the doctor, ‘Did I do what Bo Jackson did? Did I do the same thing?' He told me, ‘Actually yours was a little worse.'"

Jackson's injury would end his football career immediately, and his baseball career only a couple of years later. However, Ross says because of what doctors have learned since then, he expects to make a full recovery.

Surgeons at the hospital popped Ross' hip back into the socket shortly after he was carted off the field. That is what differentiates his injury from Jackson's.

Physicians at Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics say Jackson lost blood flow to the area because they did not reset his hip right away; it would never be the same.

Just days after Ross injured his hip, doctors inserted a metal plate and half-a-dozen screws to hold his joint together. (Doctors assure him he will not set off sensors at airport security check points.)

For the first three months after surgery, Ross could not put any weight on his leg. By November, the rigorous rehabilitation process began. And now, Diamondbacks team trainers are working with him five to six days a week. Sprints, hurdle work, and other leg-strengthening routines are now a regular part of the outfielder's day, in addition to the typical baseball workout.

"I'm going to go out there and give it the best I have and leave it all out on the field."