Woody Williams,Pitcher,San Diego Padres
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.
This injury cannot be prevented.
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.
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.