Astros: Lockout puts Lance McCullers Jr.’s readiness for Opening Day in doubt

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

When Houston Astros fans and others think of the lockout imposed by Major League Baseball back in December, the first thing that generally comes to mind is missed games, shortened seasons and how the game on the field is affected.

Further down the list, if it’s on the list at all, is how injured players that are rehabbing may be affected while the negotiations, if you can call them that, are going on.

While the talks drag on, spring training games disappear and opening day seems less and less likely to happen as scheduled, the injured players are left on their own.

For Lance McCullers Jr., he rehabs from a flexor tendon strain that he suffered in the American League Division Series.

"“I’ve been rehabbing and the lockout’s made it tough because the people I would usually rely on for the rehab,” McCullers told Maanav’s Sports Talk. “I haven’t been able to speak to or communicate with.“The injury I had in October was much worse than we were putting off. (My flexor tendon was) off the bone quite a bit.”"

McCullers is disappointed with MLB’s handling of the situation of not allowing injured players to work with teams and have teams oversee the player’s rehab.

McCullers pointed to the most recent National Hockey League labor stoppage where injured players were still able to work with their organizations as an example of why he was frustrated with the lock out.

"“For me I’m behind in my rehab,  if I had to guess I don’t know if I’d be ready Opening Day right now,” McCullers said."

McCullers went on to say that the players are fighting for the young players and a better product that would benefit both players and fans.

"“I think the fans should know we are fighting for a better product,” McCullers said. “We’re fighting for the young guys, the young players who are coming after us, we’re trying to do things we think the fans would appreciate and would bring competitiveness to the league and would benefit players and fans alike.”"

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McCullers continues to rehab and lift six days a week to stay in shape while waiting for an agreement to end the lockout.

As one of the Astros player representative, he is headed to Florida on Wednesday to be part of the process that hopefully resolves the impasse, allowing the 2022 season to start on time.