LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Tommy Hanson has missed six days of workouts since suffering a concussion in a one-car accident Monday, but the big right-hander believes he’ll be ready to go by Opening Day.
“It’ll only be a week off,” said Hanson, who could suit up as soon as Monday, though not for full activities. “I was throwing 50-pitch bullpens before I came down here [to spring training], so I don’t’ think a week off is going to set me back too much.
“After I start throwing for a couple of days, I think I’ll be back where I would have been last week. Most of the time at the end of spring training, that last week is kind of extra anyway. So I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I feel like I’ll be ready.”
Hanson wrecked his Infiniti M45 on the way to Braves spring-training headquarters Monday before the first pitchers-and-catchers workout. He had no other significant injuries, only bruises. He said he had a tire blow out while rounding a curve, which sent his car careening down a small embankment into a field.
He was diagnosed with a Grade 1 concussion and did no physical activities until Friday, when he rode a stationary bike for 15 minutes and did shoulder exercises and stretching. Hanson was expected to increase those activities Saturday.
“Best case scenario I’m thinking maybe Monday come out and play a little catch,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “With that concussion stuff, that’s serious. You’ve got to take your time, get all those tests out of the way. But he seems to be progressing fairly good. So hopefully get him on the field doing some baseball activity Monday or Tuesday.”
Hanson said he felt “normal” on Saturday but understood why he was being kept from strenuous activities. He won’t be cleared for that until results of an ImPact test show that his reflexes and other results match the results of his baseline test taken three years ago.
When he took the test on Thursday, the first day he was headache-free since the concussion, his results weren’t back to normal yet.
“It’s kind of weird that I didn’t feel like my reaction times were off, but they were off,” Hanson said. “So it’s a little scary, hearing about other guys who’ve had concussions, especially in other sports … I didn’t realize concussions were as serious as they are until I got one. But I feel back to normal now, so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”
Hanson said it’s the first time he’s been diagnosed with a concussion, although he thinks he probably had one while snowboarding when he was 12.