Baseball fans are breathing a collective sigh of relief after San Francisco Giants general manager Bruce Bochy announced that pitcher Barry Zito may be well enough to take the field sooner rather than later after suffering minor injuries during a Los Angeles car accident.
The accident occurred last Wednesday night in West Hollywood. The Giants were in the Los Angeles area for their season opener at Dodger Stadium, scheduled to take place last Thursday. Zito was unable to take part in the opening game, however, after a cabdriver struck his vehicle and sent him to a local medical center. Despite having to miss the game, experts say that Zito was extremely lucky to walk away from the car accident without more serious injuries.
Investigators have determined that the cabdriver who struck Zito’s car was guilty of speeding through a red light signal. Police officers have yet to release a final report of the accident indicating what may have caused the driver to run the light, but so far reports have given no indication that he was intoxicated in any way.
After the accident, doctors examined the Giants pitcher’s for head and neck injuries, conducting a series of MRIs and other X-rays. The doctors subsequently released Zito with a relatively clean bill of health, although he was instructed to wear a temporary neck brace.
Bochy and Zito remain optimistic that the pitcher will be able to join his teammates for the game this upcoming Sunday, but Bochy also stated that Zito will remain on the bench until he can be absolutely sure that more severe side effects from the accident will not appear later on.
Source: Mercury News, “Barry Zito escapes major injury in crash.” Andrew Baggarly, 31 March 2011