A Tuloso-Midway High School pitcher is on the road to recovery after injuring his elbow earlier this year.
16-year-old High School Junior Isaiah Rodriguez has been on the varsity baseball team since he started school at Tuloso-Midway and plans to continue his career after he graduates.
However, due to the injury, Rodriguez had to sit out during summer ball and is easing his way back into the sport while attending physical therapy at a Driscoll Children's Hospital.
"Baseball means everything to me," Rodriguez said. "It's my favorite sport. I play with passion. Just love being on the field."
Days after Rodriguez injured his elbow earlier in the year, he said he felt tingling but kept pitching. Eventually, he ended up at the Sports Rehabilitation Center in Driscoll Children's Hospital.
"The summer was supposed to be pretty good for baseball, and this happened," Rodriguez said. "Just had to keep my head up and let it be."
Typically Driscoll Children's Hospital is regarded as a place for young patients, but toward the back of the hospital is the sports rehab room where physical therapists treat anyone from toddlers to teenage athletes like Rodriguez.
"This is a big part of their lives, and that's what they want to get back to, and it's not just having fun, it's a part of their identity," Physical Therapist Francisco Moreina said.
Moreina has been working with Rodriguez for months and said they have had to rehab and strengthen his rotator cuff to fix how his elbow reacts during a pitch.
"Most of the time the reason they have this issue with the elbow, they try to squeeze more out of the arm, especially when they're externally rotating, and that's very likely what happened," Moreina said.
While the therapy has been tedious, Rodriguez said being benched has been even more difficult. However, the time he has spent at Driscoll has paid off. Moreina said the teen has made strides during therapy, and the starting pitcher should be ready to play when the season starts.
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