I had another blog post prepared for tonight, but since I shared the heartbreaking news about a very special high school baseball player a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to share what SHOULD be very good news. But it's still tinged with bittersweet.
Turns out his UCL is NOT torn (neither "frayed" nor "hanging by a thread," as reported by two different radiologists) and he does NOT need Tommy John surgery. That's the good news.
Several pro baseball teams contacted his parents while they were returning from a doctor's visit in Birmingham yesterday (same doc who operates on major league pitchers - I told you this was big time) to say they were still interested. That's the better news.
It turns out his injury is a stress fracture that he has had for three years and should have been fixed at least last year, if not the year before. Even THAT was misdiagnosed at first as tendinitis. (Did you know it's spelled "tendinitis" although it affects a "tendon"? You're welcome.)
That's the bittersweet part.
The kid even diagnosed himself. He looked at his own MRI and saw a fracture. Official report? "No fractures observed."
The doctors are first going to try a bone stimulator, whatever that is, to see if it heals on its own. If not, they will put a screw in his elbow to repair the fracture. Recovery time? Four to six WEEKS. Not the eight to twelve MONTHS he was looking at with Tommy John surgery.
Like his parents, I'm trying to look at the bright side. Some good teams are still interested. Injuries are nothing big in the majors. They know how to handle them. If he doesn't do well in the draft, there's always college. It's a win-win situation.
But the kid missed a huge part of his senior year, a year in which he could have made himself EXTREMELY marketable. Instead of just so-so marketable. A year that he would have had if his injury hadn't been misdiagnosed IN THE FIRST PLACE. As awesome as he was this year before the latest injury, it's hard to imagine just how awesome he might have been. And let's not forget this is an eighteen-year-old kid and it was his SENIOR year. He can never get that back, no matter what happens in the draft.
The draft is in four weeks. (Yikes - that means BRAG is in four weeks. Am I ready?) We will know more about his future after the draft takes place. ("We" as in the world, not "we" like I'm a major decision maker in his life.) I can't promise I'll shut up about him even then, but at least we will know more about whether he's headed for college or the pros.
Tune in tomorrow night for another Jason story. One of many which I optimistically hope to turn into a book someday.