Nike’s North Side-South Side Softball Challenge took place in Lincoln Park on Thursday and the two coaches of the teams were Johnny Knox (North Side) and A.J. Pierzynski (South Side).
The game was filled with players that were chosen through Twitter.
Pierzynski constantly bashed the opposing team for being North Siders. Knox and Pierzynski pretended to trash talk for the Nike film crew.
Knox threw out the first pitch and actually pinch hit for his team. He blasted a single to the outfield and jogged to first base.
He clearly doesn’t have the same speed that he once had, but he is taking his time when it comes to recovery.
“Just get stronger, that’s my main goal right now,” he told reporters at the Nike event in Lincoln Park. “No rush. I’m going by what the trainers and the doctors say and that’s what I’m going to go by.”
Bears fans are aware of the severity of his injury that he suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15.
He’s been jogging, but hasn’t begun running six months after his vertebra surgery. Don’t expect to see him suited up anytime for the Bears.
There is absolutely no rush with an injury like that. To be honest if it was a person like you or me we would clearly be in critical condition. Possibly paralyzed.
Luckily, Knox was in good shape at the time, but now he is at a reported 170 lbs.
At 25 years old, Knox had all the potential in the world to really thrive in the Bears offense.
In 45 career games he’s reeled in 133 receptions for 2,214 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was also an asset on special teams returning a kickoff for a touchdown in his rookie season (09-10) in Week Four against Detroit.
It was good to see Knox out and about doing something for the community. He just has to stay positive mentally because that could help him in his physical recovery.
Being cautious is the best thing the Bears and Knox can do. The trainers can help him gain his speed back slowly, but the 2012 season isn’t one destined to have Knox as part of it.
A fan favorite and speed demon, the Bears should be aiming for a Knox return after the 2012 season.
One thing is for sure Johnny Knox is a pretty solid baseball player. He made good contact at bat, despite White Sox’s catcher AJ Pierzynski complaining that Knox was allowed to bat at all.