MILWAUKEE -- Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks will return to Phoenix on Monday to be fitted with a hard cast over his surgically repaired right wrist. After that, he'll head home to Orlando, Fla. "The thinking was to monitor him over this initial period, where infection can set in," said assistant general manager Gord Ash, who heads the Brewers' medical program. "Once that was over, he was cleared to go home. That's what he's going to do."
Weeks underwent season-ending surgery in Phoenix on May 20 to replace a torn sheath around a tendon in his wrist. He will be in the cast for about six weeks, and he will have to return to Phoenix every two weeks for checkups, Ash said. Brewers officials say he is out for the rest of the season. It came as little surprise to Weeks' teammates that he opted to leave the team. Catcher Jason Kendall and shortstop J.J. Hardy both did the same after suffering devastating ankle injuries, Kendall in 1999 and Hardy in 2006. Kendall played for Pittsburgh at the time, and he shattered his right ankle in a July 1999 game against the Brewers. He needed emergency surgery, was hospitalized for three days and then barred from traveling for a month. Once he was clear to get on an airplane, Kendall headed home to California. "That month was miserable," Kendall said. "The team is there and you can't do anything. It got to the point where I had to leave. ... It was torturous. One side of you says, 'I want to be there with my teammates.' But the other side has got to go. I totally understand where Rickie is coming from. This whole team understands." Hardy is among them. He suffered his own right ankle injury in May 2006, though it was far less severe than Kendall's. Hardy suffered a bad sprain and ligament damage in a collision with then-Phillies catcher Sal Fasano in a game at Miller Park. That was followed by two months of pain, as a tendon snapped out of place. In July, he underwent season-ending surgery. Eventually, Hardy returned home to Phoenix. "It's hard, because you see everyone out there playing, and you can't. It's almost depressing," Hardy said. "It's not even like he can rehab right now. So if Rickie wanted to go home, he should be able to do what he wants to do. He should go home and relax. I don't think anyone has a problem with that." Weeks has stopped by Miller Park on a daily basis since his surgery, but he has not made himself available to reporters. "He's tough, so even if it was affecting him, he knows how to keep a positive attitude about it," said Prince Fielder, Weeks' best friend on the team. "He's been fine to me." Fielder wonders whether Weeks is holding out hope of playing again this season, the same way pitcher Yovani Gallardo did after undergoing knee surgery last May. "I'm sure he is," Fielder said of Weeks. "Once he starts rehabbing, I'm sure he'll go hard at it. I wouldn't doubt that he had some of that hope in his mind. You never know."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.