Mariners’ Robinson Cano a new man after double sports hernia surgery

Apr 1, 2016, 3:38 PM | Updated: Apr 2, 2016, 1:00 pm
Robinson Cano waited until the offseason to undergo double sports hernia surgery, playing 156 games in 2015 for the Mariners. (AP)

The abdominal issues that plagued Robinson Cano are a thing of the past, as evidenced by his seven home runs this spring training for the Mariners.

Cano underwent double sports hernia surgery in the offseason, and he explained to 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Danny, Dave and Moore” exactly how that operation has made a world of difference for him.

“Honestly I didn’t realize it was hard for me to use my hips (last season),” said Cano, whose batting average dipped to as low as .236 last June as he dealt with the injury. “It was hard for me to pull the ball or hit the ball inside.”

A visit with a doctor resulted in an abdominal strain diagnosis, but there was more to it than that.

“The doctor said, ‘If it doesn’t go away in two weeks, you might consider a sports hernia.’ I’d never heard of a sports hernia before,” Cano said. “Two weeks later I said I still got the same pain. He goes, ‘If you want to keep playing like that, you can play. It’s not gonna be worse than that, so if you wanna go play, keep playing. And if not, you have to miss at least six weeks of the season.'”

Cano wasn’t about to do that, and he finished out the season with 156 games played.

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Despite the injury, Cano rebounded with a much better second half, hitting .330 from July 1 through the end of the season. Then he finally addressed the injury, going to Philadelphia to have the surgery performed by Dr. William Meyers; Meyers later operated on Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch for a similar injury.

Cano said it was important for him to have the operation done after the season for reasons that would benefit him and the Mariners in the long-term.

“I didn’t want to do it in the season, because when you do it in the season you try to rush to get back,” he said.

He stayed in New York for an extra month rather than returning home to work his trainer to make sure he was a full-go when spring training began.

“He could have given me the exercises and (then I could) go home, but I decided to not go home because I wanted to be able to be 100 percent at spring training,” he said, “and it really worked.”

The change has been noticeable for Cano. Through Thursday, he has a .365 average, 1.246 OPS and 10 extra-base hits in sping training, including a Cactus League-leading seven homers – three of which came in one game last Sunday.

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Mariners’ Robinson Cano a new man after double sports hernia surgery