Luke Voit spent last season playing through a foot injury and still led the league in home runs.
But the Yankees’ first baseman didn’t want to sign up for an experience like that again this season over 162 games, which led him to make the difficult decision — with three days left in spring training — to undergo knee surgery on Monday night to repair a partially torn meniscus.
“It was tough,” Voit said Wednesday, on the eve of Opening Day. “I just didn’t want to play hurt. After last year, playing through that foot injury, I was just done playing hurt. I wanted to play 100 percent. I feel like it was the right thing. I think I could have made it worse, too, to where I could have been out a lot longer than what I will be for this. So I’m glad I got it done.”
Voit said he had the option of getting a cortisone shot and draining his left knee, a process that he likely would have had to repeat throughout the season. Instead he decided to have the surgery, even though it meant missing the start of the season with Jay Bruce filling his spot on the roster.
While Voit did not offer a timeline for his return — the Yankees previously said he would be shut down for at least three weeks from the surgery before building back up — he pledged to be back “as fast as I can.”
“I had the surgery on Monday night, it was great, everything was good,” Voit said. “I feel good today. It’ll probably progress, but no timetable yet. But I expect to be back pretty quick. I’m going to do everything in my power to get back as fast as possible.”
Voit’s knee soreness had first popped up earlier in camp, but he had been playing through it before he could no longer ignore it ahead of the Yankees heading north. He described it as another “frustrating” injury, after dealing with plantar fasciitis last season and a core muscle injury in 2019.
“It was just nagging,” Voit said. “I’d have a good day and then the next day, I’d get out of bed and it’d be killing me. I run five or six sprints before games and by that fourth or fifth sprint, it’d start to feel good. But when I’d be coming off the bag when I was holding a guy on, that’s when I’d have to twist my knee. I feel like I wasn’t landing on my front leg and I was losing a lot of my power when I was hitting. I think I made the right decision of finally getting it looked at.”