WHEN WILL THE BELL TOLL AGAIN?

     Talking with All Star outfielder Bubba Bell today, it’s apparent that his strained right quadriceps muscle isn’t responding as quickly as he would like.  Originally, it was thought that Bell might be out for a week.  It now looks like it could be two weeks and Bell is frustrated.  “It’s getting better but not at the rate we were hoping for.  We’re just trying to get to the bottom of it and trying to figure out exactly what it is and the best way to treat it.  I think we’ve taken steps in the right direction, I just wish the process would be quicker than it has been.”  Bell explained the nature of his injury.  “It’s been classified a muscle strain.  I guess it depends on how bad the strain is, as to when it heals up.  We all figured that a week would do the trick, but it obviously hasn’t.  I guess we are going to have to take our time with it.”  A seemingly resigned to the fact Bubba, added  “I really have no idea when I’ll be back,I can’t put a finger on it.  It’s a slow process in the beginning, but once it starts healing, it’s a little bit quicker.  I can say maybe anywhere from a couple of days to another whole week.  I’m not sure.”

     Bell, who is hitting .294 with 5 homers and 39 rbi had been healthy this season.  Previously he had said that his good health was clearly the key to his success in 2010.  He didn’t take it for granted. “It’s a little disheartening.  I’ve worked so hard to get healthy and stay healthy.  It was finally showing in  my numbers.  I was having a really good time.  I’m doing my best to not let it get to me, and not get frustrated.  It’s hard because I’ve been out for a week and I feel like I’ve missed a month already.  Who knows how I’ll respond when I step back into the box and see some live pitching after an extended period of being away.  It’s one of those things that in the past, I’ve tried to rush myself back and I’ve hurt myself for the rest of the year because of it.  I want to make sure that we get this one right so I feel good.  It rejuvenates you when you are healthy.  You feel good and you’re running around out there 100% healthy.  When you’re not, you run around cautiously, limping a little bit.”

     Despite the temporary obstacle, Bell is optimistic about his return.  “I know I’ve put myself in a good position and I’m really excited to get back to that.  It would be one thing if I wasn’t having  a good year, if my numbers were down, it would be really hard to keep myself going.  Since I’ve had a good season and I’ve got some things in the future to keep me going that could work out in my life and be great, it’s made it a lot easier.”  Bell also credits teammates for keeping his spirits up.  “You’ve been around (Chad) Paronto and other guys and they do a good job of keeping me loose.  Guys like Chad and my roommate Aaron Bates.”

     Bell mentioned Paronto so I had to ask him if he’d ever seen teammates buy a guy a cake on his birthday, as they’d done for Chad earlier in the week. “He is one of the funniest people I’ve ever been around.  I told him that I had never seen a guy get a cake from teammates, much less two, as he got the other day.  He got two.  Two different guys got him cakes, personalized.  It’s unbelievable.  I would say he is the best teammate I’ve ever had.  He’s hilarious.  He keeps it loose and fun in the clubhouse, no matter what’s going on.  He reminds me of the late Chris Farley.  Physical comedy.  He just throws himself around.  He’ll do anything for a laugh and that’s what we all love about him.”  

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