Padres' Barrett hopes to have surgery on broken nose soon

Updated: July 7, 2008, 10:39 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Sitting at his locker in street clothes and squinting through two black eyes, San Diego Padres catcher Michael Barrett drew quite the crowd.

Michael Barrett

Barrett

Greg Maddux, Monday night's starter against Florida, took a picture of Barrett with his iPhone. Ace Jake Peavy came over and offered consoling words to the injured Barrett.

"You look good," Peavy said. "At least your nose is straight."

It was the first time the Padres saw Barrett since he fouled a ball off his face Wednesday night in a game at Colorado, fracturing three bones and landing on the disabled list for perhaps six weeks. Barrett spent that night in a Denver hospital and returned to San Diego the next day while the team headed to Arizona for a weekend series.

"I feel really good," Barrett said. "At this point, I look a lot worse than I feel. I'm just hurrying up and waiting for surgery. That's kind of the thing I want now."

Barrett said he will meet Tuesday with the specialist who repaired teammate Chris Young's broken nose last week. He hopes he can have surgery as soon as Wednesday.

"The sooner we can do the surgery, the sooner I'll have a chance to get back," said Barrett, who has a broken nose, broken orbital bone and a fractured bone in his forehead.

"I'll be back," he promised. "I don't know when, but I'll come back. I'll come back and be available."

Young broke his nose and sustained a small skull fracture when he was hit in the face by Albert Pujols' line drive on May 21. Young had surgery June 30 to repair his damaged septum. He's expected back later this month.

Barrett said he felt lucky and embarrassed. The foul ball hit him on the top of his right eye. He said he had a patch of dead skin where the seam impacted his forehead.

"All things considered, I feel very fortunate," he said. "If it had been anywhere further to the right, it could have caused permanent eye damage or even the loss of an eye. I feel very blessed overall."

Barrett has seen the replay.

"It's kind of embarrassing," he said with a laugh. "I mean, to be like the first guy to ever have that happen, is kind of dubious."

Barrett remained on the ground near home plate for several minutes.

"Things happened so fast. When it first happened, I knew my nose was broken. I was hoping that I could still play," he said. "But then when I stood up the vision was off a little bit. It's still off a little bit. I still have a little double vision. I realize that I couldn't stay in the game."

Barrett missed 19 games last August with a concussion. He said he could tell right away that he didn't sustain another one, but doctors were concerned.

"They kept asking me, 'Do you know where you're at? Do you know your name?' I got a little frustrated because I told the doctor I was fine. He didn't believe me. Like, 'I'm in Denver I know I'm in Denver, OK? Leave me alone,' because he asked me about four times."

Barrett said he "kind of cheated" to get to the fastball by Ubaldo Jimenez.

"It rode in on my hands pretty good, and I was already open completely, and squared up to the ball, and fouled it off. It just really, really had a lot of ride to it."

Barrett was in a good frame of mind.

"Just one more scar ain't going to kill me," he said.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE