A little over a month ago, there was real concern about J.A. Happ’s overall health as a result of being struck with a line drive in the ear during a May 7th game. On Thursday, Happ told ESPN that he hoped to be back in uniform after the All-Star break.
When the liner (off the bat of Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings) struck Happ in the ear, he sustained multiple contusions, a fractured skull, and sprained knee ligaments as a result of his fall. It was one of the scariest on-field injuries in recent memory, and Happ was immediately placed on the 60-day disabled list after the play.
As far as his return is concerned, the lingering issue seems to be with his knee rather than the more high-profile head injury. With regard to his knee ailment, Happ was quoted as saying:
I was in a brace for several weeks and am now moving, jogging and regaining athleticism. I began running again three or four days ago and I’m not quite there yet as far as cutting or turning.
All indications are that Happ’s knee is healing on schedule, and with his positivity coming as well, it seems to be more and more likely that he’ll return to the field. While he isn’t a high-impact pitcher (career 4.23 ERA, 1.40 WHIP), it would be a fantastic story to see Happ on the field, and the Blue Jays could use services when he is eligible to clear the DL on July 7th.
The All-Star break is a couple of weeks away, but the sound you hear is thousands and thousands of baseball fans rooting for a prompt, on-time return for Happ.