With the Rays fighting for their first division title early last September, Shawn Riggans underwent a knee surgery that was to sideline him for 2-4 weeks. Our biggest concern at the time was whether Riggans would be back in time for the playoffs (he wasn’t). What we didn’t realize at the time, was just how serious Riggans’ injury really was. How serious? Life threatening.
What appeared to be a simple bruise incurred while blocking a ball in the dirt on a Sunday afternoon in Toronto had by Tuesday in Boston become an infection with the potential to do serious damage to his leg – or worse…The Rays’ medical staff immediately noted the turn Riggans had taken, failing to respond to oral antibiotics they hoped would do the trick after the initial signs of an infection emerged, and decided to put him on a plane home to Tampa on Wednesday morning, Sept. 10. He underwent surgery to clean out the infection that had developed around the bursa sac in his right knee that afternoon…”It could have really turned ugly,” Riggans said. “It could have been a life-threatening situation had I not gotten there when I did.”…A delay of even 24 additional hours could easily have led to permanent tissue damage, and as it was Riggans had to spend four days cheering on his teammates from a hospital bed.
We have commented previously about how we were surprised the Rays didn’t bring a veteran catcher into camp to at least push Riggans for the backup job. Now that we know Diesel stared death in the face and won we have discovered a new level of respect for a player that plays the one position we judge the hardest.
Riggans Eager To Get Back Behind The Dish [Tampa Tribune]