Colorado Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio is resting and recovering nicely after doctors performed C-1 vertebrae surgery on his neck after he was hit in the head by a line drive on Friday night.
Nicasio was struck in the head when Ian Desmond of the Washington Nationals hit a line drive at his head in the second inning of the Rockies’ 5-3 loss on Friday at Coors Field.
At this time it’s still unclear if his neck was broken due to the hit to his head, the speed at which his head rotated upon impact or from the impact of his face-first fall onto the pitchers mound.
According to Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger he has never seen a C-1 vertebrae injury in baseball and for that reason it’s still unclear if Juan will be able to return to the mound in the future.
Dugger said of the situation:
“The best-case scenario is he’ll be there in Spring Training, starting for our club.
Nicasio’s injury was treated overnight at Denver Health by Peter Witt, a neurosurgeon at The Spine Cneter at the University of Colorado Hospital.
To fix his neck Nicasio had two screws inserted into the vertebrae and a small plate was placed in the back of his head to stabilize the area. Thankfully no damage was found to the spinal cord, however the plate stabilizing his neck will remain in place permanently.
According to Dugger, Juan Nicasio can sit up and talk, although he is currently medicated to help with pain management.