Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks talked to reporters about his medical problems for the first time. The story isn’t pretty. He’s lucky to be alive.
Jenks traveled to Boston to have spinal surgery on Dec. 12 at Massachusetts General Hospital. Then he returned home to Arizona.
On Dec. 30, Jenks had to have emergency surgery because of complications related to the first spinal surgery.
“I don’t know whose fault it was,” Jenks said. “But there was an error done inside.” I had four bone spurs on my spine. We talked about taking the top two out. The third one was started and not finished. So basically there was a serrated edge that sliced me open in two different spots and I was leaking spinal fluid.”
He was rushed into surgery the same day he had the problem checked out.
“It kind of blew up on me,” he said. “It caused an infection to climb up that incision wound. So now I had an infection in my spine. It was a combination of everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.”
“If I didn’t have it done immediately, the infection could’ve gotten into my spinal fluid and up to my brain. Who knows what happens then? I could obviously not be here right now.”
Jenks now has a seven-inch scar on the middle of his back.
“My muscles were so torn open, I was basically laid up in bed and couldn’t function,” he said.
Jenks doesn’t know if he’ll be able to pitch again this season. He signed to a two-year, $12 million deal before the 2011 season, but he appeared in only 12 games.
He hasn’t tried to throw a ball since last year. He hopes to return to the team later in the season.
Is Jenks considering legal action?
“That’s why I got people,” he said. “I let them worry about that. If there’s something there I’ll let them take care of it. My job is to get better. That’s what I’m going to focus on.”