Less than two weeks after being hit in the face by a line drive, Oakland Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt hopes to return before the end of this season.
Speaking to reporters prior to Saturday's game against the New York Yankees, Bassitt said he's keeping the door open for a 2021 comeback:
“The doctors made a mistake in telling me that I’m going to be OK in a couple weeks.
“When they said that, I said, ‘All right, we’re rocking.’ Obviously the front office and (manager Bob Melvin) and those guys are going to do everything to take care of me. But if everything progresses the way it should, I want to be back before the end of the season and hopefully I am."
Bassitt was hit in the face by a liner off the bat of Chicago White Sox outfielder Brian Goodwin in the top of the second inning during an Aug. 17 game.
Oakland's medical staff had to take Bassitt off the field on a cart. He was transported to the hospital for evaluation that same night.
The Athletics announced on Aug. 18 that Bassitt was released from the hospital after being "diagnosed with a displaced tripod fracture in his right cheek that will require surgery."
The team also noted there was no sign of eye damage or vision problems for Bassitt.
Chris Bassitt @C_Bass419
From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank the <a href="https://twitter.com/whitesox?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@whitesox</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Athletics?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Athletics</a> staff, front offices, and owners. The support my family and I’ve received has been overwhelming. I’d also like to thank Rush University Medical Center and their staff. God is good. Can’t wait to get back!
Bassitt is expected to need six weeks of recovery time after undergoing surgery. It seems unlikely based on that timetable he would be unable to pitch again in 2021, barring an extended playoff run for Oakland.
The 32-year-old right-hander was in the midst of arguably the best season of his career prior to the injury. He posted a 3.22 ERA with 154 strikeouts and 1.046 WHIP in 151 innings over 25 starts and was named to the American League All-Star team.
Oakland (70-59) enters Saturday with 33 games remaining in the regular season. The team trails the Boston Red Sox by three games for the second wild-card spot in the AL.