Devastating news from Fort Myers, where the Red Sox, PawSox and other affiliates are preparing for the 2010 season. Outfielder Ryan Westmoreland is off on a medical leave of absence, going to Phoenix, Arizona to deal with a seemingly serious health issue. Ryan is apparently dealing with a problem known as a cavernous malformation in his brain. I was told he suffered a seizure last week at Training Camp and after heading north to Mass General Hospital in Boston on Friday for an examination, he is now going west to the Barrow Neurological Institute where he will be under the care of Dr. Robert Spetzler. Brain surgery is reportedly scheduled for Tuesday.
The cavernous malformation occurs when there is a cluster of overly-dilated blood vessels in the brain. Surgery is delicate and can provide a resolution if the entire formation is removed. If any of it is left behind, it can grow back. Important to note, that according to what I have read, it is not cancerous.
The 19 year old outfielder from Portsmouth, RI has battled labrum surgery, a broken collarbone and most recently, dental surgery, before this latest problem. The Westmoreland family has asked that their privacy and the privacy of Ryan be respected and the Red Sox say they will have further comment when the time is right.
Westmoreland, rated the top prospect in the organization, according to “Baseball America” had come to camp in great shape, lean but much more muscular than last year. He was said to be in good health prior to the current diagnosis.
I am definitely not a religious guy, but I will certainly be including him in my prayers. Please do the same.