Jays SS Escobar out of lineup with mild concussion

BY foxsports • April 7, 2011

Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was diagnosed with a mild concussion Thursday, a day after taking a knee to the head while sliding into third base.

Escobar was injured when he slid headfirst and banged into Oakland's Andy LaRoche's leg on a triple Wednesday might. Escobar was down on the ground for a moment after the collision and remained in the game after being examined by a team trainer.

Escobar was then taken out as a precaution after the sixth inning because of dizziness. He had tests done after the game and was examined by a neurologist Thursday morning.

Major League Baseball is using a new set of protocols this season to deal with concussions, including the creation of a new seven-day disabled list that can give team doctors and the injured players more flexibility to address head injuries. Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said that under the new policy, MLB also has to clear the player to return.

''He's not forced to go on the disabled list,'' Anthopoulos said. ''He just needs to pass a series of MLB-mandated tests before he can take the field again. So we think Yunel is going to be fine, he's feeling great.''

Anthopoulos said Escobar will travel with the team on its upcoming road trip and will likely be back in action early next week.

''The encouraging thing is Yunel feels much improved this morning, very responsive, no headache,'' manager John Farrell said before the series finale against the Athletics. ''He mentioned a little bit of soreness in the right side of the lower neck, which is muscular. But when you see the replay - he was jarred. So those are all encouraging subjective signs and subjective feedback from him.''

Farrell said Escobar has not experienced any tingling, loss of feeling or nausea and that CT scans of the head and neck area were negative. Escobar spent the night at a downtown hotel and a team trainer checked him every two hours.

Concussions have been a big topic of late across the sports world. Baseball officials formed a committee to examine the issue last winter after several players were out of action for extended periods because of concussions.

Each team now has a designated specialist who deals with mild brain injuries to evaluate players and umpires when needed. They are required to send medical reports to Dr. Gary Green, MLB's medical director, for approval before the injured player is cleared to return to the field.

Escobar is off to a great start this season. He had three hits Wednesday night to improve his batting average to .474 after five games. Veteran utilityman John McDonald replaced Escobar in the starting lineup for Thursday's matinee against the Athletics.

Toronto begins its road trip Friday against the Los Angeles Angels.

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