Oakland A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy‘s condition has improved, but the MLB player remains in a “life-threatening” condition in a Bay Area hospital, just two days after he was hit in the head by a line drive.
McCarthy was struck in the right side of his head by a hard hit from Angels’ player Erick Aybar on Wednesday, reports USA Today. The hard hit gave the pitcher an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion, and skull fracture.
The A’s player underwent a two hour surgery to relieve pressure on his brain on Wednesday, and while his condition has improved, A’s athletic trainer Nick Paparesta warned that his player is still in a life-threatening situation. Paparesta stated:
“Absolutely he is. It’s brain surgery. It’s life-threatening. At any possible moment something could go wrong, he could have a complication. Absolutely.”
Paparesta explained that McCarthy has gotten out of bed three times and sat up in a chair, as well as his bed. He is able to eat solid foods, can recognize visitors and is able to talk, though he refrains from doing so because of continued pain.
The athletic trainer went on to explain that doctors and the medical team told him the biggest issue is the patient’s reaction for the first two to three days after. Paparesta added:
“We’re coming up on day three (Saturday), so by the evening time there’s still the possibility of reoccurring or increase of swelling back again. If that happens, they can do different measures or techniques to keep that down. He’s not out of the woods but he showing great progress.”
The San Francisco Chronicle notes that doctors and the Oakland A’s team are not even thinking about whether Brandon McCarthy will return to baseball yet, because they are first focusing on him making it out of the injury alive. Paparesta added:
“First and foremost, we need to look at his life and make sure he stays alive. This is serious stuff and we want him to live. I think the next phase we would go through is to look at his simple gross-motor mechanics and skill set to get him through his normal active life…. Then later on down the road, we’ll worry about his fine motor skills. We’re just going day-to-day and making sure he’s making progress.”
Erick Aybar, the Angels player whose hit struck McCarthy on Wednesday, has both left personal messages for the pitcher and released a statement through the Angels. Aybar stated that:
“It has been a tough last two days for me as I keep replaying in my head when the ball struck Brandon. I am encouraged and thankful to know he has made significant progress, and I keep praying to God to help him recover quickly and fully. I also pray for him and his wife. Our game is a tight brotherhood, and right now we all wear the same uniform colors.”
Dr. Geoffrey Manley, the chief of neurological surgery at UCSF, is cautiously optimistic about Brandon McCarthy’s recovery, because when an epidural hematoma is treated properly, most patients can return to their full and active lives, including athletes resuming their sports. Dr. Manley added that the pitcher’s ability to get up and feed himself are great signs at this point.