Rockies RHP Feltner slowly recovering from skull fracture, hopes to pitch again this year
DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies right-hander Ryan Feltner is slowly recovering from a concussion and a fractured skull. He doesn’t know if he will still be able to pitch this year, but he hasn’t ruled it out.
Feltner spoke publicly for the first time on Friday since being hit in the head by a line drive from Philadelphia’s Nick Castellanos on May 13. Feltner spent a night in the hospital and has persistent symptoms of a concussion, as well as pain in his right ear.
“A lot of fracture symptoms, just a headache from the concussion, dizziness, but today there’s no pain,” he said as he sat in the shelter at Coors Field. “I sleep well and daily tasks have become much easier. So, I feel like I’m in a pretty good position compared to what she could be.
Feltner was hurt when Castellanos lined up a 92.7mph slider down the middle. Feltner turned away, the ball hit him in the right rear part of his head and he immediately collapsed on the mound.
“I didn’t really black out or anything. Everyone came out pretty quickly to check on me, so just kind of spot me,” he said. “I was just glad I got to leave. I understood straight away what was going on.”
Castellanos was visibly shaken as he hunkered down at first base and expressed remorse after the game. Feltner said he received a letter and a small gift from Castellanos.
“I felt bad for him because I saw how upset he was, but that’s part of the game,” Feltner said.
Feltner began balancing exercises on Thursday and faces a long road to recovery. He can’t sit in the dugout for games, he can read and watch television for short periods of time, and he said he is more comfortable outdoors where he can focus on remote things.
“There’s no set program like a Tommy John program,” Rockies assistant coach Scott Murayama said. “You have to take steps to make sure those symptoms go away, make sure the fracture heals, and then slowly get back to your activities.
“His balance has actually been very good, but with the concussion and the ear injury he may have balance issues. So it’s about retraining the body so it knows where it’s at. .
Feltner, 26, is in his third season with Colorado and his second year on the rotation. He’s 2-3 with a 5.86 ERA in eight starts and hopes he can come back this year.
“I don’t want to rule it out. The desire on my side is there. I trust the team, the professionals who know more about the issues than I do. We are in this process together, but I will launch again at some point, I don’t know if it will be this year this year.
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