Axford sleeps better as son's condition improves from bite

Rockies reliever returns to baseball activities

Axford sleeps better as son's condition improves from bite

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander John Axford's heart was a little lighter because his son slept through the night Tuesday, for the first time since suffering two rattlesnake bites on his right foot last Wednesday. Now Axford has a plan that could have him ready when the regular season starts Monday at Milwaukee.

Axford hasn't pitched since last Wednesday -- the incident at his rental home occurred as Axford was leaving the Rockies' complex. But he did baseball activities Wednesday, plans to throw in a Minor League game Thursday and is scheduled to pitch in the Rockies' Spring Training finale against the Mariners on Saturday.

But Axford is just happy that the important issue, his son Jameson, is taking a positive turn. Jameson might have to stay in a local hospital for another month, but for the last two days he hasn't needed the painful procedure that removes dead skin tissue. Plastic surgery looks to be in the child's future, but doctors were able to avoid a worse result.

Axford, who turned 32 on Wednesday, came to the complex for baseball activities. He and his wife, Nicole, are spending nights at the hospital, with mom and child in one room, Axford in another.

"My wife said he only woke up a couple of times, but fell right back to sleep," Axford said. "I just stuck around until he woke up, until I saw that he was in a good mood and was happy, watching 'Despicable Me II' for, like, the 42nd time since he's been there."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.