Just a few weeks after being placed at No. 21 on Baseball America's top-100 prospects list, Ryan Westmoreland had brain surgery.
Now, three months later, Westmoreland is working hard to get back to where he once was, both in life and baseball. He shared his progress today in a conference call with the media.
News was generally positive. Saying that doctors and therapists often called his progress "remarkable," Ryan noted that every week was a step forward: "As a whole I've been able to look back on myself [a week ago] and say 'Wow, things have gotten a lot better.' "
While the field is still a long ways away, there have been appearances of the old Ryan Wetmoreland, the Providence Journal reports:
Westmoreland and Colameta were tossing the ball at short distances. He wanted to do more.
"Alright, I’m just going to throw it," Westmoreland told his girlfriend.
Dugan looked up to see the ball sailing high and far.
. . .
"I can throw again," Westmoreland said. "It’s not there yet, but I’m starting to really get into the idea that I’m going to play again."
Being able to return to the field, much less at the same level as before, is far from a guarantee. But Westmoreland is nothing if not determined. "That's always the mindset. I'm gonna get back on the field and play again," Westmoreland said. "That's always the ultimate goal."
Still, as much as all Red Sox fans would love to see him holding a bat or catching flyballs in Fenway someday, it's easy to forget just how much was really at stake here:
"When I woke up, and I was breathing? It wasn’t the most comfortable I’ve ever been, but I opened my eyes, I was breathing, and that’s all I really wanted at that point. I wanted to wake up,"
For the complete audio of the conference call, visit Hadlock Headlines.