Update: Westmoreland Making Progress In Rehab

Jeffrey BrownAnalyst IApril 5, 2010

The day after top prospect Ryan Westmoreland was seen at Fenway Park enjoying Opening Night with his family in the suite of Red Sox owner John W. Henry, the Boston Red Sox issued a press release this evening stating the Portsmouth, RI, native is making progress in his recovery and rehabilitation after brain surgery.

The club announced the 19-year-old is undergoing physical and occupational therapy at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

The club has been reticent to release information about Westmoreland’s condition at the request of his family, who is hoping to safeguard his privacy. He underwent the surgery on March 16th in Arizona to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain stem… a cavernous malformation is a congenital defect condition of abnormally thin blood vessels that sometimes seep blood into the surrounding brain tissue, putting pressure on the brain. Such was the case with Westmoreland.

The surgery was performed at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, and Westmoreland spent the initial part of his rehab there.

The Red Sox press release said: “After spending several days at that facility, Ryan made significant gains in his rehabilitation and was cleared to return to Boston to continue the recovery process.”

The club added that he “has been making steady progress and is in great spirits.”

The press release included the following: “On behalf of the Westmoreland family, the Red Sox express sincere appreciation for all of the support and concern for Ryan. The Red Sox also ask that the media please continue to respect the Westmorelands’ privacy and refrain from contacting them regarding Ryan’s condition.”

Ryan’s father, Ron, told ESPN-Boston: “We don’t know, at this stage, what’s going to happen. The surgeon said it perfectly when he came out of the operating room. He said, ‘The first thing is his life, the second thing is quality of life, and we’ll deal with the rest after that’. Right now, he’s trying to get back to a point where he can live a normal life. If baseball is in the cards, it’s a bonus. Right now, we’re just concentrating on quality of life.”