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Mike Soroka taking it ‘week to week’ in return from Achilles injury

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Mike Soroka gave an update on the exploratory surgery that he had on his injured Achilles and is still hoping to pitch at some point in 2021.

MLB: Atlanta Braves-Workouts John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The road back from a torn Achilles tendon has been a hard one for Mike Soroka, but it seems that things are once again progressing. Soroka spoke about his injury Thursday afternoon and went into detail about the exploratory surgery that he was forced to undergo last month.

“I know usually, things seem pretty vague on our side of things sometimes, but for a while we didn’t know and it was pretty hard,” Soroka said when describing what led to the decision to get the Achilles looked at again. Everything was going really well up through four or five, six months and then I just kind of started to slow down and then even kind of go backwards for a minute and we had to figure out why.”

The surgery revealed that Soroka’s body had rejected the sutures which normally would have been absorbed. That caused inflammation in the area and the problems that he was experiencing. The good news is, there was no problems with the Achilles and now it is just a matter of Soroka rebuilding strength in his calf.

“Even right out of the cast two weeks out of surgery, it looked like a new ankle, everything looked clean again,” Soroka said. “It looked like it should and the great part is the Achilles is completely healed from the first time. Everything looks great there and basically it’s just a matter of calf strengthening because it’s had quite a bit of time down and that’ll be basically my entire rehab moving forward. It was really a relief to get out of there and know that what I was feeling was gone”

Since there was no further damage to the Achilles, there is renewed optimism about Soroka possibly returning at some point this season. Make no mistake though, he still has a lengthy process ahead of him and a number of areas that will need to be checked off. He talked about the need of being honest with himself and taking things week to week.

“It’s all going to be based on strength in the calf. I spent a lot of time down, and it’s a muscle that requires a lot of work,” Soroka said of the rehab process. “Going forward, I know that they’re not in any hurry to put a date on things, but anything’s a possibility and I love to love to hear that I love to hear optimism. Right now it’s about getting back to walking, running, being able to do those just for daily strength, manage daily inflammation if there is any, and it’s just going to be taking it week by week.”

Soroka will be in a boot for about another week. While there is a lot of focus on regaining his mobility and his strength, he has been throwing with his back knee elevated.

“We are throwing with my back knee elevated. It’s actually kind of a drill we do growing up. You put your back foot on the chair to practice getting over your front leg. It’s not that intense, we’re throwing in the cages right now. All of it is to keep the arm going. Obviously, the longer time you take off from just having it move and do what it’s supposed to do, the longer rebuild time you need to get back.”

As anxious as he is to return to the mound, Soroka was careful not to place any timetable or expectations ahead of him. As dire as things are currently with the team’s performance, there is no incentive for the Braves to rush him back before he is ready. Despite the team’s struggles, Soroka hasn’t given up on pitching in meaningful games later this season.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be back as soon as possible,” Soroka said. “That’s obviously the goal in any process, but it’s going to be something that I’m going to have to be honest with myself. It’s going to be something that we’re going to have to take even week by week even when I’m back on the mound. Whenever that might be, we’re going to have to be honest with ourselves. Obviously, my goal is to help this team in whatever respect that may be. I know we all think that there’s something that’s going to click soon and I still think we’re going to be there in September or October fighting for spots and I’d love to be there.”