Generals Pitcher Making Comeback after Brain Surgery
WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News Staff
JACKSON, Tenn. – Jackson Generals pitcher Anthony Vasquez made it to the major league in 2011 with the Seattle Mariners. However, he is back in Double-A making a comeback after a shoulder injury and then brain surgery sidelined him.
Vasquez injured his shoulder pitching in June 2012 for the Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Mariners. About a month after the injury, he went to the Mariners training complex in Peoria, Arizona to rehab his shoulder.
In November, while he was still in Arizona, Vasquez began feeling odd symptoms that concerned him. “My vision cut out a little bit, and I recognized that wasn’t normal, and a couple of head issues I recognized wasn’t normal,” said Vasquez.
Vasquez was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix where doctors told him a blood vessel ruptured in his brain and he had an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). An AVM is a potentially fatal tangle of arteries and veins in the brain.
Anthony said he was glad that the doctors were able to tell him what was wrong. “I knew something was out of line. My head definitely wasn’t feeling good and it wasn’t getting any better,” he said.
Even with a potentially deadly condition, Anthony said he had complete confidence in his doctors. The day after he learned his diagnosis, Anthony had brain surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute, which is home to Dr. Robert Spetzler. Dr. Spetzler is considered one of the world’s top experts when it comes to treating AVMs. “I was just kind of putting it in God’s hands and in their hands and I felt like I was in the right place at the right time and that’s really what I can be thankful for,” Anthony said.
After just one month, Vasquez was cleared to resume working out. Eventually, the shoulder injury, which he described as just a minor impingement, healed and Anthony began throwing again.
After three starts with Mariners Low-A affiliate the Clinton Lumberkings, Vasquez came back to Jackson on his comeback journey.
Now, Anthony is thankful for the shoulder injury that put him in the right place at the right time. “Part of me feels like I really didn’t have a choice. Looking back, it was a huge blessing in disguise, and that’s something to be thankful for.”