Padres P Park undergoes surgery, will miss four weeks

8/23/2006 - MLB Chan Ho Park San Diego Padres + more

SAN DIEGO -- Padres right-hander Chan Ho Park had surgery on
Wednesday to stop bleeding in his small intestine and is expected
to be out for at least four weeks.

"He's going to be just fine," trainer Todd Hutcheson said
before the Padres, who are trying to stay in playoff contention,
went for a three-game sweep of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers.

Based on a prognosis of four weeks, Park might be able to pitch
again this season, in a best-case scenario.

"I've seen some pretty amazing things from different people,"
Hutcheson said. "The first thing I guess he said coming out of
surgery was, 'What's the score?' He wanted to know what the score
of the game was tonight. He's definitely a guy who has his mind on
getting back, I know that."

Park has been hospitalized since Monday after a recurrence of
internal bleeding that he first encountered in late July.

Hutcheson said Park had Meckel's diverticulum, or a pocket of
tissue that hangs off the small intestine. "The tissue at the
junction is weaker than the regular wall of the intestine, and in
Chan Ho's case, it caused a bleed," the trainer said.

During laparoscopic surgery at Scripps Green Hospital, the
section of intestine with the pocket of tissue was cut out and the
ends were sewn together.

"It really is the best possible outcome for the different
things that it could have been," Hutcheson said.

The Padres said Park lost one-third of his blood volume,
requiring transfusions on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Park first experienced intestinal bleeding in late July while
the team was in Colorado, reporting that he felt lethargic. He flew
back to San Diego for tests and was placed on the disabled list.
The Padres said then that he lost half his blood volume, but that
the bleeding spontaneously stopped.

This time, doctors didn't know if the bleeding would stop on its

"At the rate he was bleeding, it could have been a real
threatening situation," Hutcheson said.

Doctors want Park to refrain from exercise for two weeks, "then
we can gradually work him back into shape," Hutcheson said.
"We're probably looking at four weeks at the earliest, if
everything goes extremely well."

Park (7-7, 4.68 ERA) was scratched from his scheduled start
Monday night and went on the disabled list on Tuesday.

"Chan Ho wanted to pitch the other night," Hutcheson said.
"Our doctors, based on the blood work they were getting back and
the brief history said, 'There's no way. We're going to find out
what's going on immediately.' "

Also Wednesday, right-hander Tim Stauffer was optioned back to
Triple-A Portland and right-hander Brian Sweeney was recalled from
the Beavers. Stauffer was hastily summoned from Portland on Monday
to make an emergency start in Park's place, pitching six strong
innings in a 4-2 win.

Hutcheson said Chris Young continues to feel better after a
strained muscle in his upper back knocked him out of Sunday's start
against Arizona after only one inning. Young might be able to start
during a series at Arizona next Monday to Wednesday.