Recovered from arm surgery, Derry pitcher Hood eager to get back into action

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020 | 6:51 PM


One of the great joys of an injured athlete is the day they can return to live action. The day the wait is over, when all of the rehab and patience-testing cashes in its coins.

But that day will have to wait for Ryan Hood.

The sophomore baseball player from Derry tore his labrum during his freshman basketball season, last January, and held off on surgery. He attended therapy sessions and played baseball last spring, limiting his duties to first base, and opted to throw left-handed instead of right during his youth Teener League in the summer.

“I didn’t get to play for my travel team at all that summer,” he said.

Surgery eventually followed in August, Hood said, “Cause nothing else was working.”

He came back for basketball this year, but the limitations caused by the coronavirus erased this PIAA baseball season.

Hood was just cleared to play last week. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is a hard-throwing pitcher with some pop in his bat.

“Everything has been good after surgery, and I’m feeling better than before,” Hood said.

A throwing program with Glenn Holland of Athletes Rehab is complete, and Hood has been light-tossing at home with his father.

With the high school season gone, Hood is not ready to bag his travel season with All-American Baseball just yet.

“Yeah, I think the season will be shortened, but I think some games will get to be played,” he said. “It’s not super frustrating for me right now, I’m just looking at it as more time for me to develop myself and get my shoulder stronger. It still is frustrating because I haven’t started a game on the mound in over a year, and I’m super anxious to get back out there.

Derry baseball coach John Flickinger feels for his players and all seniors who could not play their final season. The positive news about Hood, unfortunately, came in second to the state’s decision to cancel the season.

Flickinger was eager to see Hood pitch again, even though he said the sophomore would have be used sparingly.

“Ryan is an outstanding character kid who is hard-working and truly has multiple dimensions to his game,” Flickinger said. “I think he certainly has a future on the mound, but he has not been able to show that at the high school level yet.”

Hood has been a dependable first baseman and batted over .300 as a freshman. Flickinger is quick to note his three winning hits.

“He, obviously, was not going to see much mound time for us this year coming back from the surgery, but you could see the arm strength getting back to normal even in early March. We look forward to him staying healthy and having an outstanding high school career, both on the mound and in our starting lineup elsewhere.”

Hood said the quarantine has given him time to reflect on his game. The thought of returning to the mound gives him hope.

“It gives me something to think about and work for,” he said, “and also gives me something to look forward to after this is all over.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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