Josh Beckett: “I couldn’t feel my hand”

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Josh Beckett will undergo season-ending surgery this week to remove a rib and relieve pressure on a nerve that’s been causing hand numbness for several years.

It’s a potentially career-threatening injury for the 33-year-old right-hander and Beckett talked to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times about how much the hand numbness has impacted his performance (and life):

I’d try to drive with my right hand and my right hand would go numb. I’d throw a bullpen, and I couldn’t feel my hand. … Being ready for next year, and for spring training, without any limitations is probably the most realistic goal.

Beckett tried to rest and rehab before opting for surgery, but the description of what he dealt with certainly shines a light on how he went from top-of-the-rotation starter to going 7-19 with a 4.76 ERA in 214 innings since the beginning of last season. Shaikin writes that “his arm would feel weak and heavy” whenever he pitched.