Brennaman to return to Reds' booth Saturday

July 30th, 2016
After vocal cord surgery, Reds television play-by-play voice Thom Brennaman is ready to put that voice back to work again. He'll call Saturday's game against the Padres. (AP)David Kohl/AP

SAN DIEGO -- Reds television play-by-play voice Thom Brennaman is ready to put that voice back to work again. It's been exactly two months since Brennaman has called a game on Fox Sports Ohio, but he will return from the broadcasters' "disabled list" on Saturday when Cincinnati plays the Padres.

In June, Brennaman had vocal cord surgery.

"They took a bunch of scar tissue off my vocal cords," Brennaman said on Friday. "You see a lot more of it in singers -- opera, rock-and-rollers, the whole nine yards. It turned out great. It won't be all the way back healthy for a little while. But thank God it's a lot better this far along than we thought it would be, especially after we did the surgery. There was a little bit more to it than they thought when they went in to do it."

Brennaman, 52, had to avoid speaking in the days after his surgery -- which was likely no easy feat for someone who speaks for a living.

"It was funny. My kids bought me a board where you can wipe [writing] off. I had it hanging around my neck on a string for a few days," Brennaman said. "My wife [Polly] and kids were thrilled to death because Dad wasn't yelling at anybody. There was peace in our house for a change."

What followed the surgery was a rehab process to get Brennaman's voice back in shape. He worked with Dr. Wendy LeBorgne , the clinical director at Cincinnati's Christ Hospital and a singing voice specialist and pathologist.

"Some of the most famous singers, musicians and opera singers and theatre singers from all over the world come to Cincinnati specifically to see her," Brennaman said. "You go see her once or twice a week and do different vocal cord exercises and if you heard me doing them on my front porch walking by, you'd think it was a strange dude living in that house with whatever he's doing. But you've got to do them."

Brennaman will work a reduced Reds schedule the rest of the season, but the plan is open ended. The same goes for whether he will continue to do NFL games for Fox.

"We'll see how it goes. That's the plan," Brennaman said. "It's like any other surgery. The longer you go, theoretically, good lord willing it gets better. It probably won't be as good tomorrow night as hopefully will be a month from now. And a month from now, we're 2 1/2 weeks from the start of football season. Hopefully in September, I'm able to do both - Reds and the NFL."

On Friday, Fox Sports Ohio did not televise the game but Brennaman visited the clubhouse and sat in on Reds manager Bryan Price's media session along with his father -- Hall of Fame radio voice Marty Brennaman.

Thom Brennaman was excited for Saturday.

"You get friends of yours who say all the time, 'Boy, you picked a good year to have throat surgery,' because the team's not playing well," Thom Brennaman said. "But I try to remember it every day - I've got the greatest job in the world. I'm sure I'm not deserving to get a second chance to come back here this year and do it again, but I'm grateful for it. I'm really excited to be back."