LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder A.J. Pollock said he will miss more than six additional weeks due to the staph infection in his right elbow that put him on the injured list.
Pollock needs that much time for intravenous antibiotics to fully rid his body of the infection that put him in the hospital last weekend and led to a third operation on the elbow, this time to remove hardware used to repair a fracture he initially suffered in 2010 and again in '16 because of a compromised screw.
Pollock has a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line in his left arm to transmit antibiotics for six more weeks and cannot play baseball until it’s removed. He said his doctor recommended intravenous medication to improve the chances of complete elimination of the infection over oral antibiotics, which do not have the same success rate.
Pollock said he spent six days in the hospital last week with an infection that worsened quickly, and it raised concern with the Dodgers medical department. He said the decision was made independently to remove the plate and screws because of their proximity to the infection, which he said began as a slight cut on the elbow suffered at Wrigley Field two weeks ago.
“The tiniest little cut, we kept it clean and all of a sudden it blew up on me,” Pollock said. “It was a shock it was this big of a deal. When I can push it, I’ll push it, for sure. It’s such a freak thing. I have a lot of respect for infections now. You can’t make this stuff up.”
Pollock insists the integrity of the repaired elbow was not compromised and he will be able to resume throwing before the PICC line is removed.
The outfielder said he noticed a slight amount of blood on his uniform after being removed from the April 25 game in Chicago and traced it to the small cut on his elbow. The area of the cut became puffy on the flight to San Francisco last Sunday night and Pollock alerted trainers, who put him on medication that night. The next afternoon, it swelled, and Pollock sent photos of the elbow to his surgeon, who instructed him to go to the emergency room immediately.
“That’s when the whole craziness started,” Pollock said. “It was a tough couple of days.”
A home healthcare nurse is administering the medication to Pollock. His right arm is wrapped from the wrist up past the biceps, while the left arm has a small wrap covering the PICC-line entry.
After the Dodgers traded away outfielder Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in the offseason, Pollock was signed to a four-year, $55 million contract. In addition to the multiple elbow issues, he has missed time during his career with a broken thumb, broken wrist and groin strain.