Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery Friday to repair the right index finger he broke in early April. The injury, which came on a bunt attempt, forced him to miss six weeks, and the absence of the team’s leadoff hitter contributed to its stumbling start to the season. Turner posted a picture to Instagram on Saturday of him smiling and sporting a bandage on his right hand.
“Only took 7 months to get this finger fixed,” Turner wrote, “but now my ring will fit better!”
Last month, Turner revealed that he had hurried back from the injury earlier this season and never let the finger fully heal. On TV following the team’s Game 7 victory over the Houston Astros in the World Series, he showed everyone what he had played through for most of the season. He tried to make a closed fist, but he couldn’t bend the finger far enough.
Turner broke his finger April 2 on a bunt attempt against Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin. Expecting a breaking ball, Turner instead got a fastball, a pitch that smashed into his finger and sent him to the injured list. It was particularly frustrating for a player such as Turner, who prides himself on durability — he played all 162 games in 2018.
He rushed back with the season slipping away, returning to provide a steady glove at shortstop but struggling at the plate at first, hitting .239 in his first 20 games back. But then, in mid-June, he found his swing and returned to the role of speedy, dangerous leadoff hitter the Nationals needed. He finished the season with an .850 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and became key for setting up Adam Eaton, Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto behind him.
In the Instagram post, Turner thanked doctor and hand expert Michelle Carlson and the Hospital for Special Surgery for their care. Former teammate and current free agent Howie Kendrick commented: “About time. Now you can actually play video games. Lol”
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