Rowand avoids surgery on face fractures
Outfielder won't comment on Padilla's intent with beanball
LOS ANGELES -- Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand will not require surgery to repair the broken bones in his face, according to a CSNBayArea.com report.Rowand returned to San Francisco on Sunday to meet with Giants team physicians and specialists to discuss his condition. He sustained three fractures around his left eye Friday night when a fastball from Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla struck him on the left earflap of his batting helmet. Avoiding surgery means that Rowand is expected to rejoin the team in San Diego on Monday and should be able to continue baseball-related activities during the rest of his stay on the 15-day disabled list. Sunday, for example, Rowand took soft-toss batting practice and shagged flies. Had Rowand undergone surgery, the procedure would have taken place Monday. He would have had three tiny plates inserted around his eye and cheek to help the fractures heal. Earlier Sunday, Rowand adamantly refused to comment in any way about Padilla and the fastball that beaned him. Asked whether he thought Padilla threw at him intentionally to retaliate for Los Angeles' Matt Kemp taking a high-and-tight pitch from Todd Wellemeyer earlier in the game, Rowand replied, "I'm not going to get into that. I'm not in the business of stirring up the pot." Rowand had a similar reply when asked if he'd be receptive to hearing an explanation from Padilla. Rowand, who's batting .304, didn't want to go on the disabled list. Predictably, he was overruled by members of the Giants' medical staff. "In their thoughts, it wasn't the wise move to try to continue playing with the fractures in my face," Rowand said. Among Rowand's fractures was the same orbital bone that he broke when he made his memorable catch at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park in 2006. He crashed into the center-field wall, breaking his nose and bones around his left eye. That also put him on the 15-day disabled list. Rowand said he felt fine, though he had bruises below his left eye and the left side of his face was swollen. Those were the external signs of being hit on the earflap of his helmet, which shattered. Rowand's not certain whether the ball or the earflap made contact with his face. Rowand also mentioned that had Padilla's pitch traveled a couple of inches in a different direction, it would have completely missed the earflap and hit his face. "I'm lucky it's not worse," Rowand said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.