Mike Napoli was on his way to a World Series MVP performance as the Texas Rangers were on their way to locking up the World Series in six games in St. Louis.
Of course, we all know how Game 6 ended now, but earlier in that game Napoli sent a tremor through Rangers fandom when he stepped awkwardly on second base on one of his many doubles and crumbled to the ground in pain after severely twisting his ankle.
Our main man somehow managed to stay in the game and X-rays taken after the game were negative, meaning Napoli would start Game 7 the next night, but the effects of that injury are still lingering here in the middle of January.
Napoli told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas that he tried to run about two weeks ago and had to stop due to discomfort.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training on Feb. 22, and despite the lingering soreness, Napoli says he expects to be ready to go in Surprise, Ariz., on that day.
"It's getting stronger," Napoli told Durrett. "There was no reason for me to push it, but it's getting stable. Dr. [Keith] Meister looked at it [earlier in the offseason] and we're on track. I'll be ready for spring training."
Napoli will undoubtedly start the season as the team's everyday catcher after entering 2011 as the backup/DH/part-time first baseman.
Napoli hit a career-high .320 last season while hitting 30 home runs and driving in 75 runs.