Austin Bober didn't know if he would ever put on another baseball uniform.
The St. Francis de Sales sophomore-to-be was told he would be lucky if he could put clothes on by himself after a fall off of his bicycle on May 11, 2011.
Bober broke his left humerus, which is a long bone in the arm that runs from the shoulder to the elbow.
His mother, Linda, and father, Mike, were at a Menards in Indiana when they received the call from one of Austin's friends. Linda said to see her son on the mound is gratifying.
“We were told by one of the doctors that 'He will be lucky if he can dress himself,' and you know how hard it was to take? A (then) 14-year-old and he is going to be lucky just to dress himself?” It was tough,” Linda Bober said. “It broke my heart to hear that.”
Especially when his parents were taking their son from hospital to hospital.
“The break was so bad, nobody could help him,” Mike Bober said. “They called and called and finally the University of Chicago (hospitals) took him and they worked on him.”
Austin doesn't remember too much about that day, but he will never forget it.
“As soon as I fell, I heard the break and I was in pain,” he said. “I didn't realize how bad the break was. I do know I was in a lot of pain.”
And a lot of pain medicine to numb the pain.
He had two surgeries, the most recent in November 2011. He has two plates and 16 screws in his left arm.
“The PT (physical therapy) was tough, but I wanted to get back,” Austin Bober said. “I wasn't too happy when I heard what they (the doctor) said. I wanted to play baseball. I have played my whole life. I was determined. I went through the PT, but I honestly didn't know what to expect.”
Instead of battling hitters, Bober's battle was pushing himself to get his arm strength back with therapy three times a week.
“It was hard, but I wanted to play baseball and maybe try football,” Bober said. “I just wanted to play baseball again.”
Bober finished his freshman season with a .322 batting average.
“I am really lucky to be playing baseball,” Bober said. “I don't know what I would do if I couldn't play.”