The two Valdosta baseball players who violently collided in left field during a Feb. 25 game at Cairo are expected to make full recoveries by the end of the season.
Outfielders Jacob McMillan and Kaleb Whitfield required paramedic attention after barrelling head-on into each other when going for a fly ball during the third inning of last Tuesday’s game.
McMillan endured a root canal the morning after and received a replacement tooth for one he lost in the accident. He was reinstalled to the lineup in Valdosta’s very next game last Friday.
Whitfield sustained broken bones in his facial area, according to Wildcats coach Bart Schuman, but does not need his jaw reconstructively wired.
Whitfield was believed to have broken bones upon arriving at Archbold Hospital in Thomasville the night of the incident, but doctors wouldn’t expand further until after he met with a series of specialist doctors, which extended to Monday.
Whitfield met with three practioners specializing in maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery and ophthalmology (an eye doctor). He was informed that surgery to repair a series of broken facial bones would be required, and will undergo the procedure sometime next week. Schuman expects Whitfield to return some time in April.
“Everything turned out good in terms of there will be no long term effect and he won’t have any vision problems,” Schuman said.
Whitfield returned to school yesterday, a week after the incident. He missed four days in total.
“He came in my office and gave me an update,” Schuman said. “It was just great to see him back.”
Whitfield hopes to avoid missing another game during his recovery, and plans to be in attendance for Valdosta’s road game at Cook on Friday.
“Just having them in the dugout with us is so uplifting,” Schuman said. “Kaleb is such great young man with upstanding character. Make no mistake, he’s the leader of this team.”
Schuman also took time to applaud Cairo High School and the emergency medical staff that responded to the call from last Tuesday’s game.
“They were Johnny on the Spot,” Schuman said. “It was great to see that kind of work done at a high school athletic event.”