Hanson no longer dealing with headaches
Braves righty fine after suffering concussion in car accident
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tommy Hanson still does not know exactly what happened after he blew a tire and was involved in a one-car accident while traveling to the Braves' Spring Training complex early Monday morning.
But the Braves pitcher feels fortunate that he can now laugh and talk about the initial fear he felt when his car veered off the road, went down a small embankment and traveled approximately 90 feet before coming to a stop in the grass to the right of the road.
"Once I went down the little drop right there, it gets kind of fuzzy," Hanson said. "I was just trying to get the car to stop. It took awhile. I couldn't get it to stop. I don't know if it was because the tires were flat or because I was in a car in a bunch of soft sand and dirt."
Hanson was planning to arrive at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex around 7:30 a.m. ET to prepare for the first workout of the year for Braves pitchers and catchers. Instead, as his teammates prepared in the clubhouse, he was calling a tow truck driver, who actually ended up bringing the 25-year-old pitcher to the stadium with the wrecked car on the back of his truck.
"It's definitely frustrating, but it could have been a lot worse," Hanson said. "Thank God it wasn't. Hopefully I'll miss just a couple more days and then I can be out with the guys."
When Hanson arrived at the stadium around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, he was feeling a little disoriented. But he was planning on participating in the workout until members of the medical staff were informed of his condition.
Hanson was diagnosed with a Grade 1 concussion and spent most of the past few days resting. He is no longer dealing with headaches or dizziness. But the back of his head is still a little sore and his left non-throwing shoulder was bruised by his seat belt.
"I'd like to get back on [the field] this weekend -- I feel a lot better now," Hanson said. "I feel a lot clearer. At first, even just walking was kind of messed up. I feel fine now. The headaches are gone. Obviously the sooner the better."
The Braves are certainly not ready to clear Hanson. But they were encouraged by the way he acted when he returned to the stadium on Thursday.
"He looked normal to me," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "He looked like himself. He didn't the first couple of days."
Hanson could be cleared to begin participating in workouts as early as Monday. His exact return will depend on how he reacts over the next few days.
Members of Atlanta's medical staff performed a concussion-impact test on Hanson on Thursday morning and will continue to administer this test over the next few days. The results will be compared to a baseline test that was performed while he was pitching for Double-A Mississippi in 2008.
"When it happened, I didn't think it was going to be that big of a deal," Hanson said. "After they said I wasn't going to be able to do anything for a couple days, it was frustrating. But it could have been a lot worse, and it wasn't."
Hanson believes he will still have plenty of time to be ready for the start of the regular season. He routinely threw off the mound over the past month as he was attempting to alter his delivery in attempt to lessen the strain placed on his previously ailing right shoulder.
There were some concerns when Hanson missed the final two months of the 2011 season because of his right shoulder. But it has not been a problem since he began throwing in early January.
"It's good to go after all the [bullpen sessions] I've thrown and all that I've done," Hanson said. "I worked really hard with my physical therapy and workouts this offseason. My shoulder feels great. Everything feels really good. I can't wait to get back out there."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.