July 28, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; General view of the injured left finger of Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
KUSA - Carlos Gonzalez battled himself for most of last year. Now all he hopes to do is battle opposing pitchers for an entire season.
A nagging finger injury - he strained his right middle finger and was never able to fully recover - kept him out of the lineup for more than 50 games. What began as a promising year for the Rockies quickly turned into a struggle for Gonzalez.
"It was definitely a difficult year for me. In the beginning I was having a great season - an All-Star type year," he recalled.
Gonzalez was set to participate in the Home Run Derby after hitting 25 homers prior to the All-Star break but pulled out in favor of the rest it would give his hand. It wouldn't stop him from playing though. He wanted to help his team - even through substantial pain.
"I was doing anything possible to be the player everybody expected," he continued.
Gonzalez was advised by doctors against surgery in the offseason and rather re-adjusted his grip on the bat to keep the pressure from that finger. He enters his sixth season with the Rockies healthy and ready to perform at the level he feels he's capable of.
"I feel great. My finger is completely healed," Gonzalez asserted Monday. "I feel good to go."
A complete and healthy season would likely put Gonzalez in contention for the National League most valuable player award - like he had in 2010.
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