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Davis shows importance of admitting an injury

Sam Isdale/Sports Columnist

Sam Isdale/Sports Columnist

Part of playing sports includes the unfortunate instance of injuries.

If athletes have injuries, most coaches and doctors might suggest that they take some time away from the sport so they can heal and return to competition when their bodies are ready.

New York Mets first-basemen Ike Davis admitted on Sunday to the New York Post that he concealed an oblique injury. Now he’s regretting the decision he made to tell the reporter after he read the article.

Davis said that he didn’t want to tell anyone about the injury for a few reasons. He wanted to continue to play and he didn’t want anyone to think it was an excuse for how ‘horrible’ he was playing. But that is an obvious component to playing well. If you aren’t feeling well or your body is hurting, it’s going to contribute to the way you can or can’t perform. It’s understandable not to tell someone about a jammed finger, but his oblique injury could have definitely played a part in his poor performance.

Davis made the excuse that the timing wasn’t right to say anything about the injury, but I really don’t think that would have mattered much.

“I thought about saying, ‘Hey, I would like to take a couple of weeks off because I’m not feeling great,’” Davis told the Post. “But then the timing was bad and it was when I was getting sent down. It would have been a great time, but it looks bad and I just can’t say that,” Davis said.

“It makes me look like a baby. It looks like I’m whining about how I [stunk]. I was terrible. Now it’s over.”

He wouldn’t have sounded like a baby if he admitted his injury earlier and asked for time off. If he would have repeatedly said that he was playing badly because he was injured, then I can see where people might view his complaint as an excuse.

“As I look back now, everything would have been better off had he said something,’’ Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “Certainly, hopefully, he’ll learn from it that he needs to speak up.’’

If an athlete continues to play with an injury, it could get even worse and potentially create new injuries. I know from my own experience that it’s hard to tell your coaches and teammates that you’re injured — you want to keep playing, but you need to do what’s right for your body and take care of yourself. I had to get shoulder surgery due to a sports injury, but it was worth it because I came back stronger and proved to everyone I could still play and compete despite having been injured.

“Everybody’s different, guys deal with stuff in different ways,’’ Collins said. “Certainly if you’re failing at what you’re supposed to be doing, that means something needs to be addressed. If you feel it’s taking away from your game, you’ve got to say something.  If there’s an issue we need to know about it for sure.’’

I have to agree with Collins and preach that people need to speak up if they’re feeling a little off or their bodies don’t feel right. And Davis has no reason to complain about what the New York Post wrote. He agreed to the interview and if he didn’t want word of his injury to go public, he shouldn’t have agreed to do the interview in the first place, or maybe he should have just admitted the injury earlier.

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