The OC Register's Pedro Moura has a good piece up this afternoon about the "full panic mode" that Johnny Giavotella was in as he awoke one day to find there to be something seriously wrong with his eyesight. Giavotella, of course, had been mysteriously put on the DL August 25, and we only got word yesterday as to what put him out of commission. It turned out he had a problem with a muscle in his eye, also known as fourth nerve palsy.
On the morning of August 21, Giavotella woke up and noticed that when looking left, he had a bad case of double vision. It sent him quickly to the hospital where, after some tests, they finally figured out the fourth nerve palsy diagnosis.There are generally two ways doctors like to deal with this problem: they either wait awhile, often months, for it to clear up on it's own, or there is eye surgery. If there is anybody that's extremely confident about the situation, it's Little Italy himself:
Giavotella can lift weights and run. He cannot stand in a batter’s box. Yet, he repeatedly expressed confidence Friday that he will return before the season ends four weeks from Sunday. The team is less confident.
I like his spirit, but it does appear that the Angels don't exactly share his excited timetable to return to the field:
"It’s disappointing news," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "In talking to Johnny, you can really feel the disappointment. I don’t know that there are too many guys who’ve worked harder than Johnny to get this opportunity. It’s a shame that he’s not able to help us out in this pennant race right now. "When this clears up, when he’s available, nobody knows."
Basically, as the article elaborates on a bit, is that doctors believe Giavotella's fourth nerve palsy to be idiopathic, or "of a spontaneous origin". They are telling him they think it will clear up on it's own in a few weeks, so that's what's got Johnny is not-too-dire spirits. Whether he gets back this season or not, it's good to know that he should be okay in the near future. He'll get another shot at delivering clutch hits come hell or high water, just a matter of "when" now.
"I can’t do anything to speed up the process," Giavotella said. "There’s no toughing it out. I can’t see. I’d like to think that I’m a fairly tough person and play through a lot of pain, but there’s no going out there toughing it out through this kind of injury."
Johnny, while we all miss you in the lineup, I think I can speak for everybody else when I say "Take your time. No rush. Just get well."
The Angels have won three in a row. Their spark plug folk hero can't play ball, but they'll have to get the job done one way or another. Let this be our rallying cry for the 2015 season!
DO IT, HALOS! GO TO THE PLAYOFFS! DO IT FOR JOHNNY!