Brennen Davis Chicago Cubs prospect discusses back operation – Chicago Tribune

Brennen Davis Chicago Cubs prospect discusses back operation - Chicago Tribune

COMSTOCK Park, Mich. — The night was spent sleeping and evading Brennen Davis.

Even the simplest thing like watching TV causes discomfort, not to mention playing baseball. Davis’s health was deteriorating.


What started out as back discomfort in March the big-league training camp for the Chicago Cubs had morphed into painful sciatica in early May.

“If you’ve ever suffered from sciatic pain, it’s painful,” Davis told the Tribune on Thursday. “Every tiny thing would make it worse and the pain would be unbearable. It was among the most painful things I’ve done.”


When his symptoms began to increase from the leg to numbness and tingling in the right side of his foot Davis was aware that he had to investigate the root of the problem in your back and the body.

Back surgery was eventually deemed the best option after the June 2 procedure provided his best-case scenario with no structural harm. A blood vessel cluster were shaved and then removed symptoms of sciatica symptoms.

Davis started his rehab stint Tuesday at high-a South Bend after five games in the Arizona Complex League, his first game in almost three and a half months. Davis was absent on Thursday but is expected to play the remainder of the week, most likely two outfield games and one game as designated hitter to help manage his work load.

Davis Davis, the Cubs No. 2 prospect, hasn’t set any specific date when he’s expected to return to Triple-A Iowa. He’ll play with the Arizona Fall League after the season to gain valuable bats that he was unable to get this summer.

“Anytime there’s an injury or unexpected roadblock that sort of stifles planning for next entire year, it’s hard,” Davis said. “But it can help you develop in your character and as a professional and helps you appreciate the time that you have to play the sport that you enjoy.”

Davis did not let back tightness stop him from playing of games. However, it was clear that he wasn’t in the right place and it was evident by his stats in Triple A.

At the beginning, Davis initially blamed the stiffness on the colder weather of April. Davis didn’t pay much attention how his back was strained more than normal.

Davis recalls a time when his back was feeling great until he performed rapid movements in the outfield to catch the ball. He noticed that his glutes began to tighten, and he struggled for three weeks to control it.


The tightness he felt was an early sciatic sign.

“I thought it was excessively used, similar to becoming used to the seasons and feeling a little stiff and cold, and I’m doing my best to look after the body,”” Davis said. “And the pain started to get worse moving through my knee.”

Another time, Davis figured he was suffering from a muscle sore. He began making two trips each morning to the Iowa team trainers’ room, doing everything that he could to stay in the game. However, right foot numbness stopped his attempts to grind through the discomfort.

Davis’ stomach sank as he was told the dreadful word surgery. More alarmingly the diagnosis was an injured disc.

Davis immediately sought the timeframe to be able to resume the procedure. The results weren’t great. The season was over. If he had a good luck, Davis was told, it was possible that he would recover enough to participate at the AFL.

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“I was feeling a fair amount of pain so it wasn’t as if I was fighting them, because I had to have it fixed,” Davis said. “But the truth is, it wasn’t what you expected to hear I’m sure of it.”


Davis had the procedure believing that he had an injured disc. It wasn’t until he awakened post-operation that Davis was informed that the surgeon had discovered that the issue was in fact a vascular malformation which was not evident during the six MRIs they had taken prior to his surgery.

The malformation, which could have been within Davis’ lower back for years and not being detected the malformation was removed. Davis went on to spend the following two weeks on rest in order so that the scar could heal. Physical relief was awe-inspiring.

In the event of a worst-case season-ending scenario, the possibility of getting back to the field this season seemed to be an option for Davis.

“It isn’t something that can be fixed and then come back again,” Davis said. “I do not want to claim that it will never occur because that’s naive but according to my knowledge, it has resolved itself and we’re back to normal. I’m just as good as I was one last year.”

As the season began, Davis, 22, seemed poised to get his first major league call-up. Davis doesn’t care about the impact of his injury on the path he took.

“When my time comes, it will come,” Davis said. “I would like to become the very best version of me in the event that it does happen.”