Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 8/14/12
CINCINNATI Joey Votto sat in his exclusive corner of the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse, wearing black shorts and gripping a bat he won't be able to use for a few more days. Votto is enduring a delay in his comeback from knee surgery, another minor procedure performed Friday when a small piece of cartilage popped loose in his left knee. It happened on a slide, a slide that was supposed to show that he was ready to return to the lineup. Instead, eight minutes of arthroscopic surgery was needed to remove it and seven to 10 days were tacked on to Votto's sentence on the bench. As he sat on a folding chair before Tuesday's game against the New York Mets, he smiled and said, "I'm very happy the way the team is playing. Extremely well (19-8). Playing better than when I was on the field, so maybe they don't want me back in the lineup." Skinny chance of that. Wally Pipp's name came up Tuesday involving Todd Frazier playing first base during Joey Votto's absence, and playing at a high level, offensively (.280, 14, 48) and defensively. Wally Pipp played first base for the New York Yankees, took one day off with a headache, and Lou Gehrig played first base for the next 2,130 games. "Joey ain't gonna get Wally-ed," said Manager Dusty Baker. "We're sure gonna need Joey and I don't give a darn what anybody says. We've been fortunate to have done this well without Joey." Votto admits he may have been overzealous, pushed himself too hard and too quickly, to make a fast return. Any regrets that he did that? Too few to mention and, actually, he has none. "I am where I am in my career because of my attitude in general," he said. "I don't think I'd be the player that I am if I didn't ask more of myself. Stuff like this happens. I've never been injured and I've learned quite a bit about myself since it happened, especially how to handle it, the game and myself." Before tearing cartilage in his left knee in mid-July, sliding into third base in San Diego just before the All-Star break, Votto was hitting .342 with 14 homers, 49 RBI and a league-leading 36 doubles. He led the league in walks with 66, one more base on balls than he had strikeouts (65). Clearly, it was a path toward his second Most Valuable Player award and it is still within his grasp if he comes back and helps lead the team to a National League Central title in September. This time, though, he will not put a rush on himself, won't foolishly try to play before his time. "The next time I come back I will be ready to play 100 percent, ready to do all the things I did before I got hurt," he said. "What makes me the player that I am is that I'm not just a hitter. I can play defense. I love doing everything. "I love getting a pat on the back for breaking up a double play or scoring from first to home or taking a chance in baserunning situations. All that is what is what I want to bring back to the team." The surgery, albeit minor, was just four days ago, so Votto is not doing any baseball activity yet, "Just working out in the therapeutic pool," he said. "Just doing pool work. I feel OK, just frustrated because I thought I'd be playing by now and that's the hardest part of this whole thing." Votto said he was dime-thin close to coming back when his knee was caught underneath the test slide. "I was probably pushing it, trying to get back out there," he said. "I'm not trying to sound like a hero, but generally when we players get that close we push ourselves to back in there. Probably I was overzealous. But it was an unlucky occurrence (the ill-fated test slate), part of the process. I hurt myself sliding and it wasn't any part of the re-hab stuff I was doing or the medical stuff or physical therapy. "I banged it sliding," he added. "I've slid a thousand times and I just happened to re-injure it." Votto was asked if he could return early if the team told him not to slide, regardless of the situation, and Votto would have none of it. "I'm not going to come back until I can do everything I have to do as a ballplayer," he said. "I'm not comfortable not being able to play defense or break up a double play or go first to third. I'm responsible for myself when I step on the field and I can't take a guy out and it costs us a run, that's something that would make it difficult for me to look my teammates in the eyes. I couldn't explain myself. I'm an accountable guy and when I come back, I will be."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Eagles rookie to join Kaepernick in protesting national anthem

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker