NEW YORK -- Dillon Gee isn't much of a reader, so his time away from baseball since he was placed on the disabled list with a blood clot in his right shoulder has boiled down to a couch, a remote control and terrible hospital food.
On Tuesday, Gee returned from St. Louis -- where he underwent the procedure to repair the clot -- and made his way back to the Mets' clubhouse on Friday, excited to finally be back with his teammates.
Despite orders that he can't exercise for nearly three weeks or throw for a minimum of six weeks, Gee was in good spirits on Friday. Right now, that seems like a good deal for the right-handed starter, who feared death after the initial diagnosis until doctors assured him he'd make a full recovery.
"I've been telling these guys I've been watching them on TV," Gee said. "Just to be able to come back from the clubhouse and hang out with them and say hi to them means a lot. I'm glad I could be here."
Gee will have two follow-up appointments with doctors over the next six weeks, but until his next appointment, the blood thinners and painkillers he's been prescribed prevent him from strenuous activity. No running, throwing or lifting is allowed. Gee said he did take a 30- to 45-minute walk on Thursday to avoid getting covered in the dust of his apartment, but outside of staying mobile, he has severe limitations in terms of what he can do.
For his sake, Gee hopes the Mets' clubhouse will be a source of entertainment until he can start running and getting back in shape three weeks from now. At the moment, he has no plans to travel with the team, but he might make a trip back to his home in Cleburne, Texas.
"I went from being kind of scared at first to really disappointed," Gee said. "It's tough. I've been on the DL before, in 2009. It's just really hard to watch the team play, and you not being able to help."
While the soreness is subsiding in his shoulder, Gee is still in discomfort from the five-inch incision in his left groin and the three times doctors punctured his right groin to feed a catheter to his shoulder for his angiogram. That procedure was done at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where Gee had the artery cleared before moving to St. Louis to fix the damage in his shoulder with a different surgeon.
Gee said that once he has waited six to eight weeks and been cleared to begin throwing, he could be ready fairly quickly if the Mets decided to push him to come back. He acknowledged that the process will likely resemble preparing for a season during Spring Training, but he could return in less than the usual few months it takes to get his arm in shape.
"I feel better than I did," Gee said. "I'm still pretty sore from all the procedures, but I'm on the road to recovery."