Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy walking after serious head injury

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McCarthy  Darron Cummings
Darron Cummings
McCarthy

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy has walked a few steps and is making encouraging progress in his recovery from surgery after getting hit in the head by a line drive last week.

A’s trainer Nick Paparesta said Monday that McCarthy seems likely to leave the hospital soon. Paparesta had said two days earlier that McCarthy was still in a “life-threatening” situation.

“I think that we’re a little bit more comfortable with where he is and how he’s doing, absolutely,” Paparesta said Monday before the A’s opened a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels.

Paparesta said McCarthy took a few steps Monday, even climbing and descending four stairs with the help of a handrail, just five days after undergoing two hours of surgery. He has been moved to a transitional care unit in his Bay Area hospital.

“The neurologist was very happy with the results of his examination today,” Paparesta said. “We’re not ready to give you an exact date yet, but I think it’s short. I think it’s soon.”

Erick Aybar’s line drive hit McCarthy in Oakland last week, and the Angels shortstop says he’s grateful to hear McCarthy is making progress. Aybar, who sent a 91-mph pitch back up the middle, has texted McCarthy several times since the injury.

“It’s been difficult,” Aybar said. “You never want to see something like that happen. You don’t wish evil on anyone.”

Paparesta hasn’t visited McCarthy yet, but says others believe the wisecracking, Twitter-happy pitcher is getting back to his old self. McCarthy was back on Twitter on Monday, trading jibes and lamenting the fact that Liverpool, his beloved English soccer team, didn’t have a game to watch last weekend.

McCarthy is 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA in his second season with the A’s.

Dan Straily is scheduled to replace McCarthy in the A’s rotation Tuesday night against Los Angeles in a game between wild-card contenders. The right-hander will make his fourth start of the season and his career, his first since getting recalled from Triple-A Sacramento last Friday.

Straily, who led minor league baseball with 190 strikeouts this season for the River Cats and Double-A Midland, made three starts for Oakland last month, going 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA.


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