Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela coming to grips with ACL injury: “It’s part of life”

When Antonio Senzatela first felt the pang, he thought it was his left hamstring barking at him.

It was only after Senzatela dropped to the ground on Aug. 18 amid a start at St. Louis that he knew it was his knee. And he only learned the magnitude of the injury after reading the face of longtime Rockies trainer Keith Dugger, who had the unfortunate job of informing Senzatela that he’d torn his left ACL.

Even then Senzatela didn’t know the implications of such an injury.

Initially, he thought he might be able to return in 2-3 weeks. That optimism drained when he learned that his target return would be sometime next season, after a six-to-eight month recovery. At this point, barely a month since the injury, he can’t even play catch. In fact, the right-hander is still prohibited from doing any baseball activities with his lower body.

That hasn’t lessened his optimism, though.

“I feel really good,” he said. “I can walk.”

Credit Senzatela, too, for not being too pessimistic about his situation.

“It’s part of life,” he said.

The truth is that his torn ACL — sustained on a fluke play while running toward first base — was the final note on a tough year for him physically. Despite an offseason dedicated to maintaining his health, he was hampered by a spate of injuries, initially to his shoulder and back.

“Each month, something happened to me,” he said. “… It’s a bad year.”