Todd Helton Anxious for 2009

March 11, 2009 | 7:48 am  

Tracy Ringolsby had five questions for Todd Helton:

1. What went into the decision to under the surgery?
Todd: “It was obvious that the condition I was in, I couldn’t go out and play. It didn’t get better with two months of rehab. It wasn’t going to get better by wishing and wanting. I knew in the state I was in, I wasn’t going to be a good baseball player if I didn’t do something. There was no choice. Mentally, I needed to get it done, as well as physically.”

2. You say the back problem bothered you for two years. What was the turning point last year?
Todd: “My left leg was getting numb. I couldn’t get anything out of my left leg. I knew I was sliding forward and I could feel it, but I couldn’t stay back on the leg to hit. If I did sit back, it became pretty painful.”

3. How did you deal with getting only two at-bats after July 4 last year?
Todd: “I can’t go through the second half of last season again. It’s hard to be around those guys when you know they’re getting ready to play and there is nothing you can do to help. That’s hard on me, sitting around, not being able to contribute. I like being part of the action.”

4. How much are you looking forward to this season?
Todd: “I haven’t pulled my weight the last couple of years. I could make excuses, but the bottom line is I have to get my job done. Regardless of aches and pains I suffer, I have to be able to find a way to be a productive part of this team. That’s what kept me going this last winter, hoping that the program I was on will translate into allowing me having a productive season, again.’’

5. Manager Clint Hurdle said you have to accept a 120 to 130 game season. Can you do that?
Todd: “Whatever the number, it’s going to be better than last year. I’ll push myself. I still want to play every day. But I know I have to listen to my body and accept the reality instead of ignoring it.’’