The damage to Endy Chavez’s right knee was so severe after his outfield collision June 19 with former Mariners shorstop Yuniesky Betancourt, you wondered if he would ever come back to be the player he was, not when.
Chavez tore both the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligament in what Mariners medical director Dr. Edward Khalfayan described as being more like a football injury. He should know; he’s also the Seattle Seahawks’ team doctor.
The recovery time was estimated at 9-12 months but, considering the severity of the injury, the back end of that timetable seemed more likely. And, because speed is so important to Chavez’s game, there was no certainty that he’d ever get all that back.
Chavez still has a ways to go in his comback, but it now seems possible that he’ll be playing as soon as April. That’s the word from Mariners trainer Rick Griffin, who has stayed in touch with Chavez as he rehabbed the knee through the winter in his native Venezuela.
“Endy has worked his butt off,” Griffin said. “He would work four hours a day with a therapist, then go to the ballpark (in Venezuela) and work more at night.”
Although Chavez is a free agent and looking for a team to sign him, the Mariners are monitoring his recovery and Khalfayan examined him recently.
“Dr. Khalfayan was absolutely amazed,” Griffin said. “That was one of the worst injuries I’ve ever seen, but hopefully he’ll be playing before May. That’s how much progress he has made.”