In 2021, left-handed slugging first baseman Eric Thames signed a contract overseas with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Eastern League. Thames had previously been a star for the NC Dinos in the Korean Baseball Organization in which from 2014-2016 he clubbed 124 home runs and collected 382 RBI. Unfortunately, after just a few games with the Giants, Thames tore his Achilles tendon that needed to be surgically repaired. Recently, Thames posted on his Instagram opening up regarding the multiple complications that happened following that surgery.
Eric Thames opens up on complications after 2021 Achilles surgery.
Not many people, besides the ones in my circle, know the struggle that I went through recovering from my Achilles surgery. From a bad blood infection, 3 surgeries to remove infected tissue, blood clots, to a wound that wouldn’t close for 4 months! I always enjoy a challenge but damn times were tense! 🙌🏾 Thankful for my crew being behind me the whole way The Ric Flair-esque dance at the end was when I was finally cleared to start rehab.
Recovering from an Achilles tendon surgery is difficult in itself and can take up to 6+ months before return to full activity, but to hear about all of these other complications adds another layer of complexity. Thames points out in his Instagram story that his wound would not close for four months and that the “Ric Flair-esque dance” video he posted was him celebrating when he was finally cleared to start rehab. It’s clear that this recovery was very lengthy and that he had to work very hard, along with being extremely patient, before returning to baseball activities.
After recovering from surgery, blood infections, tissue infections, and wound healing problems, Thames returned to the United States in 2022 on a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics. With the A’s having traded Matt Olson, there was some speculation that the left-handed slugging first baseman could play his way onto the Major League roster. Unfortunately, he played in just 22 games for the A’s Triple-A affiliate before being released in May.
Thames previously had a successful three year tenure with the Brewers from 2017-2019 where he mashed 72 long balls and collected 161 RBI. After Milwaukee he played one season in Washington before electing to play overseas in 2021.
A few days after this post on Instagram, Thames announced his retirement.
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