Twins pitcher explains why he kept the body part doctors removed during surgery

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Hughes lost seven games and four months of the 2016 season, along with a rib. Well, he hasn’t exactly lost the rib.

The Twins’ right-hander had surgery in July after being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. It’s a procedure that involves the removal of a rib in order to take pressure off of the nerves in the shoulder. But what makes this particular case so odd is that Hughes kept the rib.

“Anybody would ask to keep it, right?” Hughes said, according to MLB.com. “If they’re going to take a bone out of my body, I’m going to want it …

“I was woozy and about to be wheeled in [to surgery], and I asked the doctor if I could keep it, and he said, ‘Technically not,'” Hughes said. “But when I came out of surgery, my wife said they gave it to me.”

The obvious question is what a person does with such a souvenir. Put it on the mantle? Display it in a trophy case? Chase family members and neighbors with it?

“It’s in a little jar of fluid,” Hughes told MLB.com. “I don’t know what I want to do with it. I’m throwing around some ideas. We’ll see.”

Hughes, whose last appearance of the 2016 season came in relief on June 9, is healthy and throwing in the Twins’ Grapefruit League camp. No word on whether the he packed the rib.

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