Oakland Athletics ace Chris Bassitt suffered a right cheek fracture that will require surgery when he was struck in the head by a line drive during Tuesday's game, the team said in a release Wednesday.
Along with a displaced tripod fracture in his right cheek, meaning three different bones, Bassitt sustained two facial lacerations that required stitches. The Athletics said Bassitt's vision is normal and that no other eye or head injuries were found. He was released from a Chicago hospital Tuesday night.
"We are grateful to the White Sox, their medical staff, and the doctors and nurses at Rush [University Medical Center] for their excellent care," the Athletics said in the release. "We'll have more information on Chris as it becomes available."
Bassitt also sent a tweet giving thanks and said he "can't wait to get back!"
From the bottom of my heart, I'd like to thank the @whitesox and @Athletics 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!— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) August 18, 2021
The veteran right-hander has shown no signs of a concussion and a scan of his brain was normal, though Bassitt can't recall everything that happened during the ordeal.
A's athletic trainer Nick Paparesta said the pitcher is in "really good spirits, doing well" a day later, even with his right eye still swollen shut.
"We're all incredibly grateful that Chris is doing as well as he is today. It was an awful thing to have to watch," general manager David Forst said. "Also for our players and our staff to be there on the field as well. We're thinking about everything that the team went through last night.
"Chris had incredible care from the second Nick reached him on the mound to everybody at the stadium and ambulance and the hospital. We're very grateful for the care that he got. But also just very aware that Chris and everyone else has been through something pretty traumatic here."
Forst said it was too soon to guess whether Bassitt will pitch again this season or how long it could take him to recover. Six weeks is a typical healing time for such an injury, according to Paparesta. If all goes well during a consultation Monday with plastic surgeon Dr. Peter Revenaugh, Bassitt's procedure could be done as early as Tuesday.
With the bones out of place, they will have to be moved back into the right positions, Paparesta said.
"The doc said that once he has the surgery done we'll kind of see how he's doing after about a week to 10 days and start getting him into some physical activity and kind of see how his body responds to that and how he's feeling," Paparesta said. "We're looking kind of one week at a time at this point in time after the surgery's done. The other thing we need to be conscientious of is that the surgery goes as planned and it is the surgery that we anticipate. Once you get in there, things could change."
Bassitt was carted off the field in the second inning after he was hit by a ball that came off the bat of Chicago White Sox center fielder Brian Goodwin at 100.1 mph. Athletics manager Bob Melvin said Bassitt never lost consciousness.
Bassitt's agents at Meister Sports released a statement thanking everyone for their "unbelievable outpouring of love and support" after the injury.
"Chris will be better than ever and back to doing what he loves soon, and thanks everyone for their prayers and support," the statement read. "Things like this remind us that in most ways we are of one heart and one mind."
Bassitt, 32, is 12-4 with a 3.22 ERA this season and earned his first All-Star selection. The Athletics are tied for the two American League wild-card spots with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
The Athletics called up Paul Blackburn to take Bassitt's roster spot, and the right-hander was set to start Wednesday with the other starters pushed back a day.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.