Within seconds after Mike Soroka fell to the ground in agonizing pain and had to be helped off the field, you knew he had suffered a severe injury; you were just hoping he avoided something career altering. But by the end of the night, it was confirmed that he had torn his Achilles and was done for the year.
In many sports, an Achilles’ tear can completely ruin a career. However, for a pitcher, it’s far from the worst thing that can happen, especially considering Soroka’s arm problems over the past couple of seasons. Any issue with his shoulder or elbow would have been much more worrisome. An Achilles’ tear is nothing to overlook, but for a 23-year-old that takes care of his body and works as hard as Soroka, he should be able to make it to the other side just fine.
Renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews re-iterated that to MLB Network Radio this morning, stating a full recovery is expected; it will just take 6-8 months before Soroka can start playing at a high-level once again.
"You can expect a full recovery, but just takes 6, 7, 8 months before they can really come back at a high level."
— Cory McCartney (@coryjmccartney) August 5, 2020
With a player as valuable as Soroka, and taking into account how cautious the Braves generally are when it comes to injuries, I’d expect it to be much longer before we ever see him on the mound in a live game. It will probably take at least eight months to start throwing off a mound again, which would be around the middle of spring training. Assuming everything goes well, we could possibly see him throw some live practices before the start of the season. However, if you’re hoping Soroka will be the Opening Day starter in 2021 like he was this year, I’d say you’re probably a bit delusional.
For that to happen, everything would have to go perfectly, and he’d have to be one of the rare cases that are completely healed after just six months. I wouldn’t put that past Soroka, but this is one of the most severe injuries in all of sports, and we’ve seen athletes take over a year off because of it. Realistically, it would be fantastic if Soroka was back to 100% and contributing to the team by the All-Star break.