Aki's Diary: Life on the shelf

Aki's Diary: Life on the shelf

Tampa Bay Devil Rays third baseman Akinori Iwamura agreed to share his thoughts on his first season in the Major Leagues in a weekly story on devilrays.com, entitled Aki's Diary. Here's the fourth installment:

For those of you who don't know it, I'm on the disabled list with a right oblique strain and I'll tell you, being injured isn't any fun.

I've never had this kind of injury before, and I'm not happy about it. Nobody is ever happy about missing games, but I feel fortunate that it happened after I got off to a good start. Now I know I'm capable of playing here, which makes it a lot better than if I had gotten off to a poor start and then got injured. So that allows me to be more positive about my recovery rather than trying to rush back because I wasn't doing well. I know I have to make sure I'm all better so I don't re-injure it.

People think when you're injured that you don't do anything. Well, I've been working really hard. I go to the Rays' Minor League complex at 10 a.m. and then I finish the treatment and rehab around 1 p.m. As for the treatment, I'm doing some heat and ultrasound. We're using combo, too. That means using electric current and ultrasound at the same time. And ice with micro-current. Anyway, it's some pretty high-tech stuff.

Besides the treatment, I do rehab exercises. I stretch and warm up. I'm also doing a throwing program right now. One thing I don't have to worry about that you might think I would have to worry about is my diet and not gaining weight. Rehabbing is a lot more of a workout than you would think. I'm going through some pretty vigorous workouts keeping my lower body strength, doing leg presses and stuff, some lifting and some cardio work which involves some running, like 30 seconds of sprinting, 30 seconds of rest, 30 seconds of sprinting, 30 seconds of rest. Do that for 10 minutes and that's a pretty good workout. That's really hard.

I don't really feel like I'm that close to being back just yet. The main reason being that once I start swinging the bat, I want to make sure I don't have any setbacks. When you're swinging the bat you don't want to be worrying about re-injuring yourself. It's a good idea waiting until you're absolutely ready if you can dodge re-injuring yourself. But in general, I'm doing well. I don't have any pain. But again, I want to make sure.

I don't know exactly when I'll start playing in games again, but I will eventually be put with one of the organization's Minor League teams to prepare to rejoin the team. I don't think it's going to happen for another two to three weeks. I'll probably start swinging in about a week or two.

I'm still enjoying the area. And it's been nice having some down time. I actually went fishing the other day on the pier next to the Sunshine Skyway. I was there for about three hours and didn't catch a thing. It was kind of nice being out there without anybody recognizing me.

But the fans around here do recognize the players who play for the team. I went to pick up a flat-screen TV the other day at Best Buy and a lady came up to me and asked if I was the guy who played for the Rays.

Well, that's all I've got for right now. Talk to you later.

Akinori Iwamura is a contributor to MLB.com. As told through interpreter Masanobu Koyanagi. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.