So I guess that answers the question of what was wrong with Gardner's abdominal area in the second half of the season. Sounds like something that would be painful to walk around with, let alone swing a baseball bat, run around, and throw a ball as hard as you can. This certainly lends some explanation to Gardner's second-half offensive fade and lack of stolen bases, and it's good to know that he's going to make a full recovery and be ready for Spring Training.
Bigger picture though, is this late-season injury thing starting to become a trend with Gardner? Without looking it up, I feel like he's ended 3 or 4 seasons with a bunch of nagging injuries that have left him playing at far less than 100% and killed his production. He's not a huge guy and he plays the game very aggressively, so some of it is just the natural result of playing the game every day for 6 months. But maybe it's time to start giving Gardner a few more days off here and there to try to keep him healthier for the August-September stretch run. This news should serve as another example of why getting a good 2-way bench outfielder is so important this offseason.