Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox

Oakland A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy is still in a “life-threatening” situation as he lays in a hospital bed in a Bay Area hospital two days after an Erick Aybar line drive fractured his skull.

After getting struck in the side of the head, McCarthy underwent two hours of emergency brain surgery to relieve pressure from an epidural hemorrhage which was the result of the line drive fracturing his skull. McCarthy is improving, and a AT scan taken after his surgery showed the bleeding in his brain had subsided, but he’s still refusing to talk due to intense pain.

A’s athletic trainer Nick Paparesta spoke to the media and reiterated his concern that McCarthy’s injury was life threatening.

“Absolutely he is. It’s brain surgery,” Paparesta said. “It’s life-threatening. At any possible moment, something could go wrong. He could have a complication. Absolutely.”

With a brain injury like the one McCarthy suffered, the patient isn’t out of the woods until after the third day past the injury. McCarthy is coming up on that third day, but at any point swelling could flare up again and cause serious complications for McCarthy — including fatal ones.

“We’re coming up on day three (Saturday), so by the evening time, there’s still the possibility of reoccurring or increase of swelling back again,” Paparesta said. “If that happens, they can do different measures or techniques to keep that down. He’s not out of the woods, but he’s showing great progress.”

The pain of McCarthy’s life threatening injury is extending past his close friends in the A’s clubhouse. Erick Aybar spoke of the incident today, and fought through emotions to send out his prayers and well wishes to McCarthy.

“It has been a tough last two days for me as I keep replaying in my head when the ball struck Brandon,” Aybar said in a statement released by the team. “I am encouraged and thankful to know he has made significant progress, and I keep praying to God to help him recover quickly and fully. I also pray for him and his wife. Our game is a tight brotherhood, and right now we all wear the same uniform colors.”

After Saturday evening, McCarthy should be in the clear in terms of complications flaring up. But even past that, it will be a long while before anyone involved in this incident will be able to move on from what happened.

A’s Pitcher Brandon McCarthy Fighting For His Life in Critical Care Unit


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November 12, 2014