Breathe a sigh of relief – Alex Gordon has passed all of his concussion tests.
The next step is for Major League Baseball to review the Royals training staff reports on his head injury and clear him to play, which could be today or tomorrow. Gordon, ever the optimist, told Jeffrey Flanagan that he would be available pinch hitting, but that it was up to Ned Yost.
Yost, however, told 610’s Josh Vernier that Gordon won’t be available tonight.
Gordon still took batting practice with the rest of the team before Friday night’s game, so he must be feeling better. Assuming MLB clears him, he’ll still have a hip bruise to deal with and it may keep him out of action through the weekend. Still, this is the best-case scenario.
Losing Gordon to a concussion would have been devastating to a Royals lineup that’s only recently started to produce at the plate. He’s been their best overall player the last two seasons and is headed for another run at that distinction this year. While David Lough has played well and Jarrod Dyson is intriguing, neither would be close to duplicating Gordon’s contributions.
Joel Goldberg reported that Gordon has no concussion symptoms, per trainer Nick Kenney, which eases my apprehension about playing Gordon. My worry has been that Gordon would try to play through and aggravate the problem. That seems – seems, mind you – to be less of a likelihood now. A word of caution though. Since concussion tests use a preseason baseline for an individual, some NFL players have gone into the baseline test looking to score low so that any post-concussion results are closer to the baseline. I have to imagine that baseball players would try a similar gimmick here and there. That’s not to say that Gordon has or hasn’t, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
Regardless, we’ll all hold our breath on the next diving catch attempt.
UPDATE: Bob Dutton reports that the Royals have learned that Gordon is cleared to play. He’ll likely need to take a couple of days still to recover from the hip contusion, but once that’s out of the way, he’ll get back into the lineup.