Freddie Freeman's admission is another example of the toll that is taken on athletes' bodies. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Freddie Freeman apparently went through a lot just to get on the field during the 2019 campaign.

The Atlanta Braves first baseman told Jeff Schultz of The Athletic this week that he often had to take painkillers before games last season due to ongoing issues with his elbow. Specifically, Freeman said that he took two pills before almost every game for six weeks and also dabbled in cortisone injections and painkiller shots.

“If I wasn’t taking the really hard pain pills, I was taking as many extra strength Tylenols as I could,” said Freeman before noting that he would not take the painkillers too close to game time because “it would make my vision go kind of blurry.

“There were some days I would try to go without it,” continued the four-time All-Star. “I would go in for [bat] flips before the game, and I’d swing, and the bat would fall out of my hand. That’s when I would sprint to the training room and go, ‘Give me the pills — I need it.’ That would be 10 minutes before the game so my vision would be going a little bit … I was just trying to gut it out.”

Freeman also added that he did not have any addiction worries with regard to the painkillers. Through it all, the 30-year-old still somehow managed to have one of his best individual seasons in 2019, hitting .295 with 38 homers and 121 RBI in 158 games.

Freeman finally had arthroscopic surgery on the elbow last October, so hopefully now he will no longer have to deal with the at-times bizarre issue.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.


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