Thursday, April 25, 2013

Making do at half strength

Baseball team loses leadoff man Dominick Courcy to hand injury

By Brandon Adam, Sports Writer
Some things end too soon.

Outfielder Dominick Courcy, a junior, was enjoying a strong baseball season until he sustained an injury to his hand midway through the season. His absence has left a hole in Pacific Lutheran’s lineup as well as in centerfield.

The junior suited up for most of the Lutes’ games since sustaining his injury, and he appeared as a pinch-runner once.

The specific injury is a fractured "hook of the hamate" in his left hand, and it was caused by holding a bat.

"It’s a pretty common injury," Courcy said.

The hook of the hamate, as the bone is called, is a bone roughly at the bottom of the metacarpal of the pinkie finger, along with other small bones, where the hand meets the wrist.

"The knob of the bat rests on that part of the hand," Courcy said. After repeatedly swinging a bat, the bone loosened and eventually broke off.

"The bone was just floating around beneath my skin," Courcy said. "Everything was swollen in my hand." The swelling in Courcy’s hand prevents him from holding a bat or catching a ball.

Courcy said he is not in pain but experiences overall weakness in his hand. "I can’t really grip anything, I have no strength," Courcy said. "Whenever I try to grab something, I can’t. I just have no strength in that particular area."

Last season, Courcy hit .342 en route to earning second-team all-conference accolades. This season, Courcy was hitting .357 before the season-ending injury.

Courcy said he was looking to mimic his achievements from last year, but the injury has brought his progress to a halt.

"One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to have the most stolen bases in conference," Courcy said. "I was on the right path for that goal but stuff happened."

Courcy said doctors are not optimistic he can recover before the baseball team’s season ends next weekend. However, he is healing well from his injury. He had surgery on his hand two weeks ago and will be put in a cast "to keep everything in place."

Courcy estimates that along with the physical therapy, his recovery will take about six to eight weeks, and he said he hopes to be back in action next season to give it his all.

"I’ll just train all summer and hopefully be ready next fall," Courcy said. All Courcy said he can do for the rest of the season is rest and perform his exercises.

The Lutes wrap up their 2013 campaign next weekend in a nonconference tournament in Lewiston, Idaho.