Matt Imhof, a Philadelphia Phillies minor league pitcher who sustained a traumatic injury to his right eye late last week during a freak training accident, said on social media Thursday that he had his eye removed on the recommendation of doctors.
In an Instagram post, Imhof said a large piece of metal hit him in the eye and head, fracturing his nose and two orbital bones and causing the loss of vision in his right eye.
"That night, the doctors informed me that the damage to my eye was extreme and essentially that my eye had been crushed like a grape," Imhof wrote.
Imhof, the Phillies' second-round pick in the 2014 first-year player draft, said he will have a prosthetic eye placed in his right socket.
"This decision was not an easy one to make but to me it seemed like the right one so on Tuesday afternoon I went forward with the surgery," he wrote.
As many of you know on Friday June 25th I had an accident. A large price of metal hit me in the head/eye resulting in a fractured nose, 2 fractured orbital bones, and most significantly, the loss of vision in my right eye. I was immediately taken to the ER and then transferred to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the #1 eye hospital in the world. That night, the doctors informed me that the damage to my eye was extreme and essentially that my eye had been crushed like a grape. The doctors told me they were going to do everything possible to reconstruct it but in all likelihood I would never regain sight in my right eye. The first surgery was somewhat a success but overall nothing had changed, so after discussions with my family and my doctors, it was decided that the best chance I had to live a normal life was to have my right eye removed and have a prosthetic one put in. This decision was not an easy one to make but to me it seemed like the right one so on Tuesday afternoon I went forward with the surgery. I'm currently still in Miami recovering from surgery but I'm doing well. This has been the hardest week of my life but I've had amazing support from my family and friends to help me get through it. For those who have been wishing me well, your support has not gone unnoticed and I appreciate everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers. I had the best doctors in the world doing their best work on me and for that I am grateful as well. Although this injury has been tough it could have been much worse...I'm lucky to still have vision in my left eye...I'm lucky that i didn't have brain damage...and I'm lucky to be surrounded my the most loving and understanding people in the world. I just wanted to write this message to let everyone know that even though I suffered some bad luck, I'm not dead. I'm gonna be alright, I'm gonna persevere, and I'm gonna succeed. It takes more than this to bring me down. Again thanks to everyone for the support .
Imhof, 22, was taking part in a routine stretching regimen after a game at Brevard County (Florida) when a piece of equipment malfunctioned and he was struck in the right eye, a baseball source told ESPN.
Imhof, a 6-foot-5 left-hander out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, received a signing bonus of $1,187,900 from the Phillies as the 47th overall pick in 2014. He has struggled with his control in professional ball and recently begun transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen.
MLB.com ranked Imhof as the Phillies' No. 19 prospect in 2015 but did not include him among the team's top 30 prospects in its 2016 rankings.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick contributed to this report.