BOSTON (AP) – Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval feels his season-ending shoulder surgery should answer any lingering questions about his time on the disabled list.
Questions about his play and fitness will have to wait until next year.
"Finally got it done," he said before Boston opened a series against Oakland on Monday night.
"Now focused to get back and doing everything right," he said. "You have to be healthy to go out there and do it. I know in my mind what I have learned. People said I was faking. I didn't fake at all because I proved that I can play through pain."
Sandoval had a torn labrum repaired by Dr. James Andrews last Tuesday, and the estimated recovery time is six months.
Following a spring training that began with questions about his weight, the 29-year-old Sandoval was placed on the disabled list in April with a strained left shoulder. He still doesn't know when the injury occurred.
"I don't know when that was going on and when that happened," he said. "Like I said, everybody said I wasn't playing hurt. I was playing hurt."
Sandoval helped the San Francisco Giants to World Series titles in 2010, '12 and'14, but has struggled since joining the Red Sox. He hit .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs in his first season after signing a $95 million, five-year contract in November 2014.
Manager John Farrell said he is at the beginning of a long recovery process, and also said the surgery was somewhat proof of why he wasn't playing.
"I don't know if there's vindication because of the surgery, but it was obvious something was going on," Farrell said.
Sandoval lost his job in spring training to Travis Shaw and appeared in just three games, going 0 for 6 with four strikeouts.