Jayson Werth, the right fielder whose two home runs last night helped to send for the Philadelphia Phillies to their second straight World Series, has come back from a career-threatening wrist injury thanks to Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon Richard Berger, M.D., Ph.D.
The first day of spring training 2005, I was hit by a pitch. Originally it was diagnosed…as an evulsion fracture. I was out two weeks, and then two weeks turned into two months, and my pain wasn’t really where the evulsion fracture was….I played two-thirds of the season, I would say—didn’t play very well, played with pain…it was rough, I was injured.
At the end of the year, the hand specialist for the Dodgers did a surgery that didn’t help. I was actually worse after the surgery because of the trauma with the surgery…. Going into ’06 spring training, I was still in bad shape. The doctors couldn’t really find anything wrong with me….I was injured, but I really didn’t have any answers. I spent the better part of the season getting second opinions, third opinions….In the middle of the season I was home one day, which was unusual, and I was met at the mailbox by a family friend who was an orthopedic surgeon…and he said I needed to go to the Mayo Clinic…
In August I went up to Rochester and saw Dr. Berger…and the next day had surgery. He was very confident about what I had, and it was really the first time I had any answers in almost two years…about what really was causing my pain…
You know, there was a time, probably six weeks before I was going up to the Mayo Clinic, I was like, “If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Baseball’s over, and I’m going to be looking for a job, and I’ve done nothing but play baseball my whole life. It was a trying period, and going up to Mayo Clinic and meeting Dr. Berger and going through the whole thing was a blessing, really. It was remarkable.
You know, the summer of 2006 was rough…there was a time when I didn’t know whether I was ever going to play again. I felt like my career was over…. So to go from where I was and to be healthy and able to play in any capacity in the big leagues is really amazing to me…but to just a short few years later to be world champion, and have an opportunity to play every day again…is just really cool.
See Jayson describe his injury and the process that led to him coming to Mayo Clinic, his diagnosis and surgery at Mayo Clinic and subsequent recovery (including how the Phillies signed him based on Dr. Berger’s recommendation), and his reflections on the overall experience and going from nearly out of baseball to becoming a World Series champ, on the Mayo Clinic YouTube channel. For more information on Jayson’s type of injury, including links to an animation and a podcast describing the UT split tear and its diagnosis and treatment, see Jayson’s Sharing Mayo Clinic story.
The Phillies go for their second-straight World Series crown beginning Wednesday, October 28 against either the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Journalists: To request an interview with Dr. Berger, call 507-284-5005 or send your request via email.