Ready to Return?
An intriguing Aug. 23 article on MLB.com discussed the recovery of star Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia from a broken bone in his foot (http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100823&content_id=13816118&vkey=news_bos&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos).
Specifically, the article referred to the "limits of rehab." Pedroia was injured in June, then given an immobilizing boot and crutches before beginning his rehabilitation. He actually waited a week longer than the initial six-week prognosis before returning to game action this month. But even with that careful approach, Pedroia just went on the disabled list again after a handful of games due to lingering soreness.
So did he actually come back too soon? Or is this simply an example that rehab, no matter how intensive, cannot truly replicate sports participation at the highest level? Furthermore, if you treat athletes, how do you come to the decision about whether one is definitively ready to return to action?