Newark Star Ledger—March 12, 2011
PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. -
The Rutherford native sat at his locker last spring inside the Mets’ clubhouse in anticipation of the team’s first round of cuts, of which he eventually would be a part.
He was anxious yet hopeful.
Friday morning Egbert sat at a picnic table outside the Mets’ minor league clubhouse, nearly 11 months removed from throwing what he feared could be the final pitch of his professional career.
His focus is no longer on making the big leagues — won’t be for a while, anyway.
Egbert is back in uniform after signing a minor-league deal with the Mets last week.
Egbert has been limited to throwing on flat ground, but insists his right arm feels better than it has in nearly four years. He is approaching another hurdle in his recovery with the prospects of throwing from a mound for the first time, perhaps as soon as next week.
With every step forward he takes, there still are vivid memories of the day that changed the course of his baseball life.
"I was cruising along," Egbert said. "Not to say it was easy, but it was one of those games where I was throwing strikes, making good pitches and everything was going well.
"All of a sudden, I just threw a fastball and my arm just popped. I tried to lift my arm up and the pain was excruciating...you see the reaction of everybody else around, the looks on the faces of your teammates, and you just know in your heart, ‘This isn’t good.’ "
Egbert ended up heading home to Rutherford and, along with his dad, George, father and son took the drive into New York for a consultation with Dr. David Altchek at Hospital for Special Surgery. He had an MRI that morning and the scan showed a complete tear; at Altchek’s recommendation, Egbert went under the knife that same afternoon.