Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jason Kendall was released from Allegheny General Hospital on Wednesday, three days after undergoing surgery on his badly dislocated right ankle.
His whole take on the first serious and very scary injury of his career: Frustrating. Very frustrating.
The two-time All-Star catcher must spend six weeks in a walking cast and at least six weeks of rehabilitation before he can think of playing again. The Pirates are shooting for a full recovery by spring training.
Because Kendall is still in pain, he did not visit the clubhouse Wednesday and probably won't show up Thursday. But he is expected when the Pirates return from the All-Star break next week.
"I'm still pretty much down. I'm obviously in a lot of pain," Kendall said. "The one thing that has definitely kept me going has been my teammates and the fans in Pittsburgh."
The Pirates' Web site has logged about 2,000 get-well wishes for Kendall from around the country, and the team also has begin receiving tons of greeting cards.
"I'm not an emotional-type person, and I've definitely been emotional the last three days. It's been something that touched me. It meant a lot," Kendall said.
Numerous Pirates visited Kendall, including catcher Keith Osik, who was nearly on an around-the-clock watch for the first few days following Kendall's gruesome accident Sunday against Milwaukee.
As Kendall tried to beat out a bunt, his right foot jammed awkwardly against the first base bag, causing his ankle to bend at nearly a 90-degree angle and part of a leg bone to ram through his uniform pants.
"It's going to be frustrating until I can get back on the field," Kendall said. "But it's part of the game. It happens. It's a freak accident. I'll be back."
Kendall has watched the replays of his accident and viewed graphic Associated Press pictures that showed his fibula sticking out of his uniform pants.
"The first thing he said was, `What was I doing bunting?' " Osik said.
Kendall is fifth in the NL batting race with a .332 average and was considered a lock to make the All-Star team before getting hurt.
Until this injury, he had never been on the disabled list in his four-year career. He made the NL All-Star team in 1996 and 1998.
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