Cincinnati Reds closing relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman will be sidelined from six to eight weeks, doctors said Thursday, after he was struck by a batted ball in a pre-season game.
The 26-year-old Cuban left-hander was struck in the head by a ball off the bat of Kansas City’s Salvador Perez in a Major League Baseball exhibition on Wednesday night.
Chapman suffered a fracture above his left eye and was taken off, his blood on the mound, to a nearby hospital where Thursday surgery would see a plate inserted into his head to repair damage.
Breitbart Sports Update: Chapman will reportedly get a plate inserted in his head. The doctor said he was “very lucky.”
Reds manager Bryan Price said Thursday that the team was happy there was no brain damage or a severe eye injury and that he would be able to resume his career.
Reds medical director Timothy Kremchek said Chapman could be out of the hospital by Saturday and he absolutely would be expected to return to the mound this year, but not before May.
Reds teammate Brandon Phillips tweeted that Chapman was awake and smiling when he visited the hospital but noted, “Good to see him smile but rather see it on the field.”
Chapman suffered the injury in the sixth inning but never never lost consciousness during the incident, which halted the game with the Royals leading the Reds 6-3.
Chapman went 4-5 with 38 saves and a 2.54 earned-run average in 68 appearances last season.