Young athletes -- at least this young athlete -- have incredible healing power.
Less than two months after Miami Hurricanes infielder David Thompson had surgery to remove a rib and repair a situation that caused a blood clot in his right arm, the former Miami Westminster Christian star is back in the UM lineup.
Thompson, who had surgery March 24 to address his physical ailments caused by venous thoracic outlet syndrome, was in the lineup to start at first base and hit eighth Thursday night at home against North Carolina -- until the game was postponed because of torrential rain.
That game was rescheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, followed by the regularly scheduled 7:30 p.m. game at Alex Rodriguez Park.
Thompson's .328 batting average still leads the team. He started all 19 games in which he played this season, playing much of the time at third base -- though that position has been solidified by freshman Johnny Ruiz, another medical marvel who returned to the lineup last week after partially tearing the right labrum of his shoulder.
The No. 7 Canes, 38-14, lead the ACC with a 22-5 league record.
UNC is 31-21 and 14-13.
We talked to David, a sophomore, this past Tuesday, when he just needed the OK by team doctor Lee Kaplan to be cleared to play. As always, he was upbeat about his chances.
"I feel like I'm ready to go,'' Thompson said. "I'm hoping I can play this weekend. Whatever my role is, even if it's a pinch hit, I hope I get the opportunity.''
He said it's been "real tough'' not being on the field with his teammates as they went from 13-12 the day of his surgery to winning 25 out of the next 27 games. "But at the same time it's fun to see some of the young guys step up and start making a big impact. I hope I can come back and help us win some games.''
Thompson conceded he's "definitely not as strong,'' which is to be expected.
"My arm is not as strong as it was before, but that will come back with time,'' he said. "But my body feels good and I'm ready to get out there. I still get sore a little bit, especially in my neck where they went in for the surgery, but that is expected to happen after the surgery I had.''
According to the Mayo Clinic, venous thoracic outlet syndrome is defined as "a group of disorders that occur when the blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and first rib (thoracic outlet) becomes compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers.''
Here's hoping David makes a smooth transition back. He deserves it.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN