Here are some of the bits of information from the press conference with Rockies head trainer Keith Dugger prior to the Rockies game on Saturday.
- NO – NO – spinal cord damage.
- Dugger was in contact with Rolando Fernandez, Senior Director of International Scouting for the Rockies, throughout the night last night to help update Juan Nicasio’s parents.
- Esmil Rogers was also key in communicating back to Nicasio’s parents.
- The C1 vertebrae was fractured and Nicasio was coherent enough to participate in the decision to have surgery. It was either surgery, a halo or a neck brace but the doctors, trainers and Nicasio decided the best option was immediate surgery if he wants to pitch again.
- Nicasio was apparently conscience the entire time and was perfectly aware of his situation and even recalled exactly what pitch he threw to Ian Desmond before being struck with the baseball.
- Nicasio has mobility and Dugger said he could probably walk if he was allowed. He is heavily sedated to keep him calm and he has sat up in bed, briefly, and said “Duggie” (Dugger’s nickname) before laying back down. His grip strength is exceptional, according to Dugger.
- Nicasio entered surgery around midnight and the doctor came out of surgery around 4:30am. All went well.
- Dugger is not calling the injury career threatening at this time but cannot say for sure. In about six weeks he believes they will start physical therapy and when they begin testing Nicasio’s range of motion they will know more. Best case scenario is that Nicasio is pitching in Spring Training 2012 and starting for the Rockies in 2012, according to Dugger.
- Nicasio was stable while at the hospital but in critical condition.
- Dugger said this is the “peak” of injuries in baseball and it cannot get worse.
My take on this is that the club is very thankful Nicasio is OK and they are all praying and holding out hope that he will be back with the team pitcher in 2012, but no one will know for sure until at least six weeks and probably not until sometime mid-winter.
Greg Reynolds was recalled from AAA to replace Nicasio on the 25-man roster. He is currently in Denver and uniform and taking part in pregame activities with the team.
To make room for Carlos Gonzalez on the 25-man roster Ryan Spilborghs was put on the 15-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his right heel.