Monday, August 04, 2008

Brian McCann Passes Brain Functionality Exam

Braves catcher Brian McCann -- having sat out a week after sustaining a concussion in a home plate collision with Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino -- is about to be cleared to return to the field this week after a successful brain functionality comparison test.

In the test McCann was asked simple questions like: Who is president of the United States? What is the date or your birth? What is your address? What is your mother's maiden name?

McCann's ability to answer promptly and easily was then compared to an identical test he took at the beginning of the season. Because his responsiveness matched favorably, McCann will be cleared to return to the backstop after being limited to pinch hitting only.

Concussions otherwise known literally as brain bruises -- even relatively mild ones such as that experienced by McCann -- are not to be taken lightly, especially considering this season's experience with Mets outfielder Ryan Church. Church missed a number of games after suffering post-concussive dizziness, nausea, headaches and other manifestations, and had to return to the sidelines after several truncated attempts to return to action.

Fortunately for McCann, his symptoms were limited to little more than cranial discomfort, which has passed. But for others such as former Giants catcher Mike Matheny and Brewers outfielder Cory Koskie, post-concussive syndrome not only put an end to their careers, but continues to impact their lives.