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Archive for Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Ishii has surgery, remains hospitalized

September 10, 2002

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— Los Angeles Dodgers rookie pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii, hit in the forehead by a line drive, had a two-hour operation Monday to remove bone chips from his nasal passage.

He will remain hospitalized for at least a few days, Dodgers head trainer Stan Johnston said.

Los Angeles pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii reacts after being hit in the
head by a line drive by Houston's Brian Hunter on Sunday in Los
Angeles. Ishii underwent a two-hour operation Monday to have bone
chips removed from his nasal passage.

Los Angeles pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii reacts after being hit in the head by a line drive by Houston's Brian Hunter on Sunday in Los Angeles. Ishii underwent a two-hour operation Monday to have bone chips removed from his nasal passage.

A CT scan after the operation was deemed normal and the Japanese left-hander was eating and walking, according to the Dodgers. Ishii also sustained a small skull fracture and a concussion.

"The fortunate thing is he's doing OK," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said before Monday night's game in San Francisco. "He's out of harm's way. I never want to go through seeing that again. It's the scariest thing I've ever seen."

Ishii, who turned 29 Monday, was struck by a line drive hit by Houston's Brian Hunter in the fourth inning of Sunday's 6-2 loss to the Astros. Hunter drove the 3-2 pitch so hard into the left side of Ishii's head that the ball ricocheted to the backstop. Hunter wound up with an RBI double.

Tracy, assistant trainer Matt Wilson and paramedics rushed to the pitcher's aid. Ishii was placed in a neck brace, then on a stretcher and driven off through the center field gate to Good Samaritan Hospital.

Johnston said Ishii was moved to Cedars Sinai Hospital late Sunday night after the nasal fracture was discovered, and Dr. John Yu performed a two-hour operation to remove chips.

A small titanium plate was inserted during the surgery, Johnston said. Ishii was removed from the intensive care unit Monday.

Dodgers spokesman Luis Garcia said no timetable had been set for Ishii's return to the mound.

"The most important thing as far as the Dodgers are concerned is his health and well-being," Garcia said, adding that Ishii's wife joined him at Good Samaritan Hospital late Sunday and was with him again Monday.

Ishii, the losing pitcher Sunday, has a 14-10 record and a 4.27 ERA. Before Hunter came up, Ishii was booed by the Dodger Stadium crowd of 42,934 because he had walked Jason Lane and pitcher Roy Oswalt with one out.

Kevin Beirne replaced Ishii on the mound after a 14-minute delay.

Ishii, one of the most effective starters in Japan for several years, signed a $12.3 million, four-year contract with the Dodgers in February.

Ishii was the second Dodger carried off the field in two weeks at Dodger Stadium. On Aug. 26, Alex Cora left in an ambulance with a concussion after colliding headfirst with Arizona shortstop Tony Womack's knee while trying to steal second base.

Cora missed two games.

"Bad things came to my head today," Cora said after Sunday's game. "I just started praying and doing the same things my teammates did for me two weeks ago. Seeing it from this side, I know it's hard to see the brace and the stretcher and the ambulance.

"But I know he's going to be fine. In both situations, you've got to tip your hats to the medical staff."

Dodgers team physician Mickey Mellman said Monday night the two injuries were very different.

"They're from different planets," Mellman said. "One had surgery, one didn't. One was back playing after three or four days. We're hoping the other one gets out of the hospital in three or four days. The only thing similar is they both got hit in the head."

Mellman said Ishii was eating, walking around and taking Tylenol for a headache.

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