Beyond The Game: Sierra AmundsonFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When I say Tommy John surgery any sports fan will cringe.
By: Tim Frie, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When I say Tommy John surgery any sports fan will cringe.
The surgery almost guarantees that a player will be sidelined for a full year, or in some cases longer.
In this week's Beyond The Game, Tim Frie explains how one local athlete is not allowing that surgery to sideline her this spring.
Sierra Amundson underwent Tommy John surgery just 7 months ago, her doctors told her to forget about being able to pitch during her junior season, but yet here she is in the Central Cass gym, preparing to pitch this spring.
"Just focus on your senior year coming in stronger and coming back. I didn't want to miss my junior year. So I'm going to find my way into that lineup."
"I think it's extremely rare, I've never heard of it happening before. I'll probably never experience this again"
While it's not unheard of for somebody to come back from this surgery this soon, that's not the case here. The reason this is so rare, is the way Amundson is getting back on the field. If you pay close enough attention, the right hander is pitching left handed.
"I said no way, I mean good luck. I'll support you and I know you'll work hard but no way."
"I thought, oh I can do this right handed, it's just opposite, it's just backwards. No, it's toughs."
Amundson first thought of the idea a full three months before the surgery. Since then she has spent several frustrating months in the gym, inching closer to being consistent with the left hand. It was about a month ago when Coach Scott Kost thought this could actually work, but how good can Sierra be?
"Right now I don't know. I know I can get in and throw a strike, I'm no overpowering but what I really want to do is I want to throw strikes and let my defense do the work for me."
"She understands what she needs to do and she understands what it takes for a pitcher to win at this level. I'm very confident that she is going to be effective."
"Sierra said it took her about 4 months until she started feeling comfortable pitching left handed. But it really can't be that hard."
As you can see, it's pretty difficult. "just a bit outside" For softball players, and non-softball players alike.
“It's still not perfect, there I still so many improvements."
Amundson says even after her right arm heals, she still intends to pitch left handed.