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PIRATES Reyes feels fine after taking hit to the head



Published: Mon, March 17, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



He was struck by a line drive off the bat of Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff.

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- A day after taking a line drive off his head, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dennys Reyes laughed about it.

"All my life, I never liked having a big head until then," the left-hander said with a smile Thursday. "Now, I'm glad I don't have a small head. I might not have been so lucky with a small head."

Reyes was struck on the top of his head Wednesday by a line drive off the bat of Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff during an exhibition game. Reyes was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg but released later Wednesday after doctors determined he had not sustained a skull fracture or concussion.

"My head is sore and I have a small lump, but I'm fine other than that," Reyes said. "It was scary and it could have been a really horrible thing. I feel I am very fortunate that nothing happened."

Reyes temporarily lost his sight and had to fight to remain conscious.

"Everything was just very bright and I couldn't see anything," Reyes said. "My eyes kept trying to go shut but I wouldn't let them. I knew I had to stay awake. It was probably four or five minutes before I really started to be alert again and knew everything was going to be OK."

Held out of drills

Reyes did not participate in drills Thursday but considered resuming light activity today. The Pirates do not have a timetable for him to pitch again.

"The doctors told me that sometimes you can have problems a day or two later," Reyes said. "I feel pretty good, so I'm hoping there will be no further problems."

Reyes is one of six pitchers competing for an open spot in the Pirates' rotation. Because of a quadriceps injury earlier in the exhibition season, Reyes has only pitched 5 1/3 innings. He has a 6.75 ERA.

"This is going to put Dennys behind," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "Hopefully, he'll be OK soon and be able to get on the mound. We'll just try to get him enough innings in so he can catch up with everybody."




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