When Martin Prado saw the doctor in the Braves parking lot waiting for him at 1 a.m., that’s when the gravity of the situation really began to sink in for the hard-nosed left fielder.
Prado had a staph infection in his right leg that was worsening, and he was told by a Miami doctor June 9 that he needed to return to Atlanta and get it treated right away. He left the team and caught a flight home that night.
Dr. Gary Lourie, the Braves’ orthopaedic specialist, performed a surgical procedure at 7 a.m. the next morning to remove infection from his lower right leg and left knee. The infection had spread to a contusion on the knee.
“The doctor [in Miami] said this is something you don’t want to play around with,” Prado said. “They acted quickly, opened it up and just scraped that thing out right away. It was painful, but I mean, it would have been worse if I hadn’t taken care of it.
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“When I got here, I got here right around 1, [Lourie] was waiting for me in the parking lot. I was thinking, waiting for me in the parking lot?”
Prado played last season with a broken finger, and missed the postseason division series with a hip pointer and torn oblique muscle. But the staph infection has been a different kind of pain.
“I don’t know if it hurts more before [the surgery] or after,” he said. “Oh, man. It was brutal.”
Prado is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list Thursday, but is not close to being ready. Incisions are left open to heal after surgery for staph infection removal, and Prado won’t be cleared to begin physical activity using his legs until the wound is closed, which typically takes two to three weeks, according to medical journals.
The Braves have not given any projected date
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