Young speaks about broken nose
Righty says he feels 'about as good as I could' after injury
SAN DIEGO -- As he sat at the base of the mound Wednesday seconds after being hit in the face by a line drive, Padres pitcher Chris Young had no idea just how bad of shape he was truly in.
"I knew that it hit me in the face and there was blood," Young said. "But I felt if [Padres] trainer [Todd Hutcheson] Hutch could get the blood stopped, then I would hop back on the mound and keep going.
"The severity of it I didn't realize until we got to the hospital."
That's when Young began to understand the damage Albert Pujols' line drive caused, as he was diagnosed with multiple fractures in his nasal bone that may have caused damage to facial bones, a deviated septum and a small crack in the bone of the skull.
Young spoke publicly for the first time Friday at PETCO Park before the Padres' game against the Reds. His wife Liz, and their newborn daughter, Catherine Elizabeth, were in the small room located off the clubhouse for a press conference.
The 6-foot-10 right-hander wore his hat low and there were some stitches and swelling in his face that were apparent. But other than that, Young looked none the worse for wear.
"I have a headache, but given the circumstances, I feel about as good as I could," he said. "There's a lot of pressure, a lot of swelling, a constant headache. But other than that, it's not too bad."
Young is under strict orders for no physical exertion for two weeks. In a week, and once the swelling has subsided, Young will undergo another MRI exam and CT scan and meet with the ears, nose and throat (ENT) specialist. At that point, Hutcheson said, "we'll come up with a game plan for how long he'll be out."
"It's not going to be two to three weeks, it's going to take longer," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "Whatever time frame it takes for Chris, we're good with it."
Hutcheson said the neurosurgeon who has already met with Young will keep an eye on the small crack in one of the bones of the skull, something that showed up on his initial CT scan on Wednesday night.
"It's not displaced, but they are a little concerned about the movement of fluid through that crack," Hutcheson said. "They put him on an antibiotic to stay away from infection."
Young was asked if he expected to be, for lack of a better term, "gun shy" when he does get back to pitching. Young quickly dispelled that notion.
"It's one of those freak things that happens. I'm not going to go out there scared. I'm not going to worry about it," he said. "All pitchers have been hit by line drives before. It's never a fun thing. It scares you a little, but you don't think twice. You go right back it. I don't expect it to be an issue."
Young said that he's been in contact with Pujols by text message and later a phone call.
"I talked to Albert yesterday," Young said. "He was super nice and felt bad about it. He's a class act. He certainly felt bad, but I told him it was out of his control."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.