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Doctors who saved Yost to be honored at game

Dr. Schenker will deliver ceremonial first pitch on Saturday
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- Not long after Mara Schenker, the surgeon who essentially put Royals manager Ned Yost's pelvis back together after his horrific fall last November, found out what Yost did for a living, she had an idea: She wanted to come to a baseball game and to eat some of Kansas City's world-renowned barbecue.

Yost, who nearly died after that 20-foot fall from a tree stand on his property in Georgia, was more than happy to arrange the trip for Dr. Schenker and her surgical team.

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KANSAS CITY -- Not long after Mara Schenker, the surgeon who essentially put Royals manager Ned Yost's pelvis back together after his horrific fall last November, found out what Yost did for a living, she had an idea: She wanted to come to a baseball game and to eat some of Kansas City's world-renowned barbecue.

Yost, who nearly died after that 20-foot fall from a tree stand on his property in Georgia, was more than happy to arrange the trip for Dr. Schenker and her surgical team.

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So, before the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against the White Sox, Dr. Schenker will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"She and a couple of the other doctors want to drive into the state of Kansas, too," Yost said. "It's just something to cross off their bucket list, that they ate barbecue and drove into Kansas."

Dr. Schenker will be joined at the game by the medical team that helped mesh together Yost's pelvis, which had fractured apart in two different areas, by using rods, plates and screws. Dr. Schenker's team, all from Grady Hospital in Atlanta, include: Dr. Mabry Johnson (radiology), Dr. Matt Hunter (anesthesiology), Dr. Jacob Wilson (resident), Dr. Sandra Hobson (resident) and Lauren Upchurch (physical therapist).

"The EMS people and the trauma unit saved me," Yost said. "They got the bleeding stopped. The doctors put in the screws and plates. The first group got me stable, and she put me back together."

Yost's recovery was excruciatingly painful -- he first endured nine weeks of non-weight-bearing activity. But once Yost started his physical therapy, his rapid progress stunned his doctors. Yost appeared at the team's Fan Fest event in late January, and he didn't miss a day of Spring Training.

"I remember Dr. Schenker saying, 'I think you're going to be good because your bone density is as good as I've ever seen,'" Yost said. "But that also shows you how hard I hit the ground that it could snap the pelvis completely apart in two places."

Oaks will get the start
Yost said the Royals will call up right-hander Trevor Oaks to start Game 1 of the doubleheader on Saturday. Oaks, 25, will be serving as the 26th man for the doubleheader and will be making his Major League debut.

Oaks was acquired in January from the Dodgers. He has thrown three straight quality starts at Triple-A Omaha, where he was 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA.

Another option would have been right-hander Clay Buchholz, who was signed to a Minor League deal in March and who has been sharp in two Minor League starts. But Yost said they still want to build up a little more arm strength in Buchholz, who has an opt-out in his deal on Tuesday.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals