Just over four months after he was stabbed in the lower back, San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham expressed joy just to be able to take the field again.

Pham went hitless in two at-bats out of the cleanup spot in the Padres’ Cactus League opener against the Seattle Mariners.

“I’m lucky,” Pham said Sunday, speaking to reporters about the October incident for the first time. “I’m lucky to even be able to play.”

In a bizarre string of events, Pham was returning to his car in San Diego when he came across an argument taking place near his vehicle. He was stabbed when he asked those involved in the argument to move away from his car.

According to reports, he needed 100 stitches to close his wounds and underwent an extensive rehabilitation process. He was told his muscular frame might have helped him avoid even more serious injuries.

Essentially given a second chance, Pham is working hard toward improving on some disappointing numbers in 2020. He batted just .211 in his first season in San Diego with three home runs and 12 RBIs over 31 games.

This offseason, he agreed to an $8.9 million contract to return to the club.

“We have so much expectations this year to do better, and go further,” said Pham, who has reasoned that it wasn’t his time to go yet. “We’re all pulling for that ultimate goal.”

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