CHICAGO (AP) Danny Farquhar was back on the mound Friday, six weeks after having a brain hemorrhage during a game.
Joined by his Chicago White Sox teammates, family and medical caregivers on the infield, the right-hander threw the ceremonial first pitch before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. His low-and-away toss to fellow reliever Nate Jones won’t affect a box score, but it counted big time for Farquhar.
The Brewers joined a sparse crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field in giving Farquhar a standing ovation.
”Just the ability to be out there, I feel like I’m very fortunate,” Farquhar said, grinning while talking to media and holding the hand of his wife, Lexie. ”To look at all the people who also had brain issues in the ICU, it’s very humbling. Just being in there and then being able to throw the first pitch is incredible.”
A ruptured aneurysm caused Farquhar to pass out in the sixth inning of a 10-0 loss to Houston on April 20 after he got two outs and returned to the dugout. He was helped by team medical personnel and on-site EMTs, then was taken to Rush University Medical Center by ambulance.
The 31-year-old had surgery and remained in the hospital’s neurological intensive care unit until May 7.
Farquhar said he remembers nothing from the time he walked to the bullpen at about 6:30 p.m. before the April 20 game until ”four or five days later” when he woke up in the hospital with ”20 something staples in his head and a drain coming out the other side.” He’s still dealing with memory problems.
Friday was the first time Farquhar tossed a baseball since the incident. He also said it was the first time he wore a hat, a White Sox cap that concealed a long scar on his left temple just below his hairline.
Farquhar’s rapid recovery from the potentially life-threatening episode has been considered remarkable. Neurosurgeon Dr. Demetrius Lopes, who treated Farquhar, expects the righty to able to pitch again. But Lopes said last month he won’t medically release Farquhar to throw in a game this season so he can fully recover.
Farquhar has been cleared to start throwing, however. ”I just don’t know when it’s going to happen,” he said.
The right-hander hopes to pitch again in the majors.
”When I woke up in the ICU, I was like, `I can’t believe they put me on the 60-day DL,”’ Farquhar said.
His wife thinks he’ll make the comeback.
”Absolutely,” Lexie Farquhar said. ”I’ve known Danny for a long time. Every time someone has said, `No you can’t,’ he’s always said, `Yes I can.”’
If Farquhar returns to the mound and throws a pitch in a game, he’ll do it with a new outlook on life.
”You’re at a baseball game and you’re 31 years old and everyting is going to be fine,” he said. ”It can turn so quickly. One day we’re all going to go, but you’d like it not to be as young as I am with three kids.”
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