St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes has suffered through two frustrating season-ending injuries in as many years.
But that frustration doesn’t compare to what Reyes is going through off the field.
The 23-year-old right-hander, talking to the media for the first time since surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right shoulder, discussed how his nearly-2-year-old daughter has been battling neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer, since she was five months old.
“Kind of getting away from the field a little bit and remembering there are some things that are more important in life than this. My daughter, a few years ago she was in the hospital and she battled with cancer and she battled with the tumor,” Reyes said.
“I felt like if my daughter fought for her life than I could fight for my career. And that’s pretty much what’s been in my head.”
Reyes told the StL Sports Page that when his daughter, Aleyka, was first diagnosed she had tumors all around her heart. While Reyes said he didn’t want to get too far into the details, he did say that she’s doing a lot better and there is hope she won’t need further chemo treatments.
Reyes went into the 2017 season as one of the top pitching prospects in the major leagues, but he was diagnosed with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and had to undergo Tommy John surgery in February 2017.
Reyes rehabbed and returned to action May 30 in a start at the Milwaukee Brewers. He was placed back on the disabled list the next day and will have to wait until 2019 for his next appearance.
“I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone’s career, to have so many bumps along the road,” Reyes said. “But whatever it is that I got to do to get back on the mound, I’m going to make sure I get it done.”