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Phil Hughes might have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Apr 27, 2011, 11:23 PM EDT

ap hughes AP

The Yankees put right-hander Phil Hughes through four hours of testing on Tuesday, including two MRIs and a vascular exam. On Wednesday they ran him through five more hours of testing and did dye-contrast blood work.

Yet here we stand with no real answers.

According to’s Bryan Hoch, the Yankees are now sending Hughes to a specialist in St. Louis to have him tested for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a nerve and circulatory condition.

If Hughes has TOS, he could require a 12-hour surgery that involves the removal of a rib. Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger has been recalling some ballplayers who have undergone the procedure this evening on Twitter. The list includes Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rockies right-hander Aaron Cook and Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison. The recovery times varied in all three cases.

  1. raysfan1 - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    Pitchers have a higher incidence of this condition than the general population due to the repetition of throwing the ball thousands of times over the years. An excellent description of the condition can be found at:
    There is a possibility of nonsurgical treatment. Surgery also, unfortunately carries a risk of permanent nerve damage. Here’s a prayer going up for him that this all works out and he can continue doing what he loves to do.

  2. purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Where are all the Yankee homers with their big bravado that Hughes noticeable loss of velocity during spring training games was “no big deal”????

    • phukyouk - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:48 AM


    • aceshigh11 - Apr 28, 2011 at 4:08 AM

      Dude, I’m a RED SOX fan, and I wouldn’t even gloat over this. You are being a SERIOUS douchebag.

      Sounds like a serious condition…Hughes is a great pitcher and hopefully he bounces back.

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 7:54 AM

        No one’s “gloating’ over Hughes injury, but it’s fair to say that there are many of us who think that all of the false bravado exhibited by Yankee homers during spring training over Hughes reported loss of velocity being “nothing” deserve to have it stuck in their ear like a Bob Gibson fastball.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        Someone’s career is in potential jeopardy, purdueman. Have some respect.

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        I have respect for Phil Hughes and wish him a speedy recovery. It’s a certain element within the Yankee Homers that I have no respect for.

    • iftheshoefits2 - Apr 28, 2011 at 7:31 AM

      We Yankee homers are thinking what an insensitive prick you must be to gloat over the fact that a young man may have a serious health condition.

      Or what kind of a douche chooses a chicken (or crappy school) for a handle here… or maybe thats all correlated.

      Either way, I hope he’s ok, so he can someday play catch with his kid. If he makes it back and helps the team, all the better.

      BC would call you a…….(wait for it)…

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:03 AM

        How about cutting the crap about Hughes possibly having a “serious health condition”? A “serious health condition” is being diagnosed with a possible life ending illness, not one that merely could lead to a millionaire being forced to possibly retire from one profession and pursue the next.

        The bottom line is that many Yankee homers posted during spring training that Hughes startling drop in velocity was “no big deal” simply because it was during spring training. Now all of you who thought so are eating crow and can’t handle the truth!

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:03 AM

        Whoever BC is, he can kiss my sisters ass!

      • jwbiii - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:18 AM

        Is “life-threatening” good enough for you? That was the term used to describe Aaron Cook’s condition.

        “During a game in 2004, Cook grew dizzy and had to leave the mound. Doctors discovered life-threatening blood clots had traveled to his lungs.”

        From here.

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        That’s nice, but we ain’t talking about Aaron Cook.

      • spindervish - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

        I’m going to have to agree…I’m no doctor, but this doesn’t sound that serious. And even if it was, some of you people need to lighten up. All this hand-wringing over a complete stranger is a little silly. “I just hope he can play catch with his kids someday!”…come the fuck on.

      • BC - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM

        purdueman, you are a chipwich. And my cat had a face like your sister’s, I’d shave its a$$ and teach it to walk backwards.

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        BC: I’m still trying to figure out why another poster is seemingly so smitten over you. Are you two perhaps “an item”?

        I’m ROFLMAO though at your post, because clearly you have mastered shaving your arse and walking backwards!!!

      • BC - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:31 PM

        I think my use of “chipwich” has endeared myself to a couple people. That and the Crapelbon nickname.
        And no, I’m not an item. Only if Drew Barrymore shows up at my door. So no, I’m no item. Headcase and slightly manic, yes. But not an item.

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:47 PM

        BC: Post a picture of yourself wearing nothing but a speedo and I’ll bet $5 will get you $10 that they flock to your front door!!!

      • jwbiii - Apr 28, 2011 at 11:19 PM

        “That’s nice, but we ain’t talking about Aaron Cook.”

        Right. We’re talking about some other guy with the same medical condition. You’re backtracking like Garo Yepremian. Please stop.

      • purdueman - Apr 29, 2011 at 12:45 AM

        jwb… anybody with any smarts at all realizes that any medical condition doesn’t affect any two people the same way. Get a clue!

  3. purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:11 AM

    Yankee fans need not worry. Even without Hughes you still have old Fatolo, Big Game Freddie and old Kevin Millwood (waiting in the wings). I’m sure that if need be skinflints Hank and Hal will even be willing to spring on a flyer to sign Pedro (Martinez), and/or lure Adam “I’m Done” Eaton (who’s still only 33), out of retirement! (LOL!)

    • Vincent - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:24 AM

      There is an impressive amount of hate in every single on of your comments. You seem to have a personal vendetta against the Yankee’s organization and all of it’s fans. It’s remarkable that there are people out there like you that can take something like a career ending condition and throw it in somebody’s face for simply being a fan and/or having respect for a ball player. Get over your daddy issues and keep it in your pants– nobody wants to deal with a douchebag with your kind of attitude.

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM

        No hate at all towards anyone other than goofball Nick Swisher when it comes to the Yankees, but an awful lot of self professed Yankee fans could gag a maggot with their pomposity.

        Oh, and Vincent if I’m a “douchebag”, that would make you a used tampon, because you were the first one in!

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        Cassless trolling seems to be running rampant through the HBT posts over the last couple days. It’s like termite breeding season around here.

    • Vincent - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:27 AM

      After reading jwbiii’s comment from above… I’d like to change “career ending condition” to “LIFE-THREATENING condition.” But I’m sure that changes nothing for you, purdueasshole.

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        Vincent-tampon, I’m sure that you’re not a doctor. I seriously doubt that given the enormous amount of medical resources at Hughes disposal that his condition is any more life threatening than a burst appendix would be. Any surgery is life threatening, but so is getting behind the wheel of a car too. You know, approximately 50,000 Americans die in car accidents every year; does that mean that I should only get around by bus? Give me a break!

      • spudchukar - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        BoilermakerDude, where you been? Did all those inside the organization fellas dump on ya? We miss your witty repartee, thoughtful analysis and high-browed humor. It just hasn’t been the same around here. Notice any bright, gleaming lights lately, probably just the glare off your flash in the pan Royals, as they sink to the depths of the American League Central.

      • purdueman - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        spudchucker… good to hear from you! Good to see that at least someone here “gets” my (admittedly offbeat), sense of humor too!

        I was offline for a few days because my Dell flat panel monitor crapped out and it took me some time to get my head around what the best deal out there was and what features I should set as a prerequisite, but I finally decided to go with a 23″ Hanns-G HD monitor, and it was a very good choice as it’s awesome!

        For anyone out there who has to make a similar decision, here’s some additional input for you. I contacted a top monitor repair service here in Southern California and spoke with one of their head technicians before making a final decision. Here are some good tips he gave me:

        * Don’t buy off-brand, regardless of the specs, because you’ll likely find yourself having to buy another monitor in 6-18 months;
        * Don’t bother with an extended warranty, because they typically don’t cover the actual screen itself, which is what fails most of the time.
        * Any monitor that’s not HD is obsolete. You may not need an HD monitor right now, but you’ll regret not having purchased one later.

  4. banksatdixie - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Stay classy, West Lafayette. Stay classy.

  5. droogleeddie - Apr 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Please everyone, don’t feed the trolls. Thanks.

  6. BC - Apr 28, 2011 at 10:46 AM


  7. Jonny 5 - Apr 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    The removal of a rib? Hmm, this reminds me of something……

    Adam was walking around the Garden of Eden feeling very lonely, so God asked Adam, “What is wrong with you?”

    Adam said, “Lord, I don’t have anyone to talk to.”

    God said, “Then I will give you a companion, and she will be called a ‘woman’. This person will cook for you and wash your clothes, she will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you, and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will never have a headache, and will freely give ‘love’ and compassion whenever needed. She will never question your behaviour or the company you keep. She will support you and understand that you have important decisions to make throughout your life and don’t have time for nonsense…”

    Adam asked God, “What will this woman cost?”

    God said, “An arm and a leg…”

    Adam said, “What can I get for just a rib?”

    Here’s to hoping Hughes gets better soon, the guy was on his way to where he wanted to be. What a shame.

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      You write for Hallmark, don’t you?

    • BC - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM


    • phukyouk - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      one of my all time favorites… for some reason my wife doesnt like that one. Nor does she like when i tell ppl that while we are married for 8 years it only feels like 8 minutes….. under water.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        Ahhh she’ll get used to it. eventually……. lol! When I’m asked I always say 50-60 years or something like that (and we are both obviously mid…… ok, late 30’s). She knows I kid, now she says the same darned thing, people get a kick out of us.

  8. jwbiii - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    I like this (from the article I linked above):

    “Colin Bates, a 20-year-old pitcher at the University of North Carolina, keeps his rib in his back pocket during games. In North Carolina’s appearances at the College World Series last month, television announcers mentioned Bates’ surgery and the rib in his pocket.”

    Bates was a Vermont Lake Monster (Nationals A-/NYP) last season. I bet he still carries it.

    • spindervish - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:13 PM

      That is seriously fucked up.

    • jwbiii - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      Nah. This is seriously fucked up. Daniel Sickels was a politician and bad U.S. Civil War general who lost a leg and the Third Corps at Gettysburg:

      “[Sickels] preserved the bones from his leg and donated them to the Army Medical Museum in a small coffin-shaped box, along with a visiting card marked, “With the compliments of Major General D.E.S.” For several years thereafter, he reportedly visited the limb on the anniversary of the amputation.”

      Thinking more on the subject, Bates will probably continue keeping his rib in his back pocket until and if reaches AA and pitchers bat on occasion. Otherwise, this could lead to either some inappropriate Tim Raines-type headfirst slides or a nasty butt wound.

      • jwbiii - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        It would be funny if he reached first base and he handed the coach his ankle guard and his rib.

      • cur68 - Apr 28, 2011 at 4:56 PM

        jwbii; great anecdotes. Simply awesome. Next lecture I have to give to undergrads I’m gonna work both of those in. Golf clap.

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