Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen: 'If you believe in God, He's going to protect you'

Following his second heart operation in the past six years, Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is on track to make a full recovery in time for spring training next month. The 31-year-old underwent a heart procedure called cardiac ablation in November, and on Thursday he threw his first bullpen session since the operation, according to the Associated Press.

Jansen missed 10 days this past season with an irregular heartbeat after experiencing an atrial fibrillation episode in Colorado. He said his doctor now believes the health issues are behind him, and he’ll be ready to help the Dodgers attempt to reach the World Series for a third straight year.

“I definitely feel great. Ready to roll,” Jansen said Saturday at the Dodgers’ FanFest.

Before the procedure in the fall, Jansen expressed his confidence that God would be with him.

“Every day you think about it, but at the same time you’ve got to block it out and keep your faith that the doctor’s going to do a great job,” Jansen told the New York Times in September. “If you believe in God, he’s going to protect you. Just think about long living.”

When he resumed training in December, Jansen sent out a tweet praising God:

The three-time All-Star has also lost 25 pounds this offseason to help him take care of his health. He’ll be looking to improve upon his career-high 3.01 ERA from last season, in which he finished with 38 saves, good for second in the National League but his lowest total in the past three years.

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