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Woody Williams,Pitcher,San Diego Padres

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TREATMENT

This type of injury is treated exclusively with surgery. For the patient to regain feeling as well as circulation, and to decrease the risk of future clotting, the aneurysm must be removed. In the procedure, the affected or diseased portion of the vessel is removed from the body, and the remaining ends of the blood vessel are fused together. Often, a blood vessel graft is used to spread across the gap made by the removal of tissue.

PREVENTION

This injury cannot be prevented.

RECOVERY

As this injury is similar to that of David Cone, it is reasonable to expect a similar recovery. Williams will probably miss about 4-6 months. Over this time, he will be healing from the surgery and then beginning the slow process of regaining the strength and mobility needed to pitch at the major league level. Once physically mended and suitably recovered from surgery, he will take part in a rehabilitation program that begins with throwing from flat ground. As he builds stamina and can throw harder and for a longer period of time, he will begin to throw from the mound. Once physically fit, he will begin a minor league rehab assignment, and after working through the ranks of the minors, he could pitch for the Padres by September.

LONG-TERM OUTLOOK

Because the surgery entails grafting and there can be residual damaged tissue left in the vessel structure, Williams will have a slightly greater risk of developing a future aneurysm. However, once he returns, he will likely suffer no ill effects of the injury and may pitch better due to increased feeling and strength in his fingers.

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