'Fortunate' Piscotty returns to Cards' dugout

'Fortunate' Piscotty returns to Cards' dugout

PITTSBURGH -- Without any recollection of the hit that left him momentarily unconscious in left-center on Monday, Stephen Piscotty returned to PNC Park on Wednesday and was in the dugout for both of the Cardinals' doubleheader games.

Other than that short-term memory loss, Piscotty showed little evidence of having been involved in the violent collision with center fielder Peter Bourjos in the seventh inning of the series opener against Pittsburgh. Both pursued a fly ball, and as Bourjos made the catch, his knee knocked Piscotty near the jaw.

The blow left Piscotty motionless for several seconds, though a subsequent series of exams revealed that he suffered no fractures or serious neurological damage. He was diagnosed with a mild concussion, but he said that as of Wednesday afternoon, he had already passed three parts of the five-process concussion test that Major League Baseball requires before a player returns to the field.

"I feel surprisingly good," Piscotty said. "No headaches today. My neck is the most sore. I thought my head would hurt worse, but surprisingly, it feels well. I'm not on a bunch of painkillers."

Piscotty, who ran on the field between games of the doubleheader, will not do much physical activity again until Friday. He is not certain whether he'll play again before the regular season ends or rest until the playoffs.

"I will just take it day to day," he said. "Just listen to the body and see how I feel. I'm not going to set any dates to get back by a certain time. Head injuries are serious, and I realize that."

Piscotty remembers running for the fly ball, then nothing more until he woke up in an ambulance. He does not recall answering any of the medical staff's questions on the field or waving to the crowd as he was carted off on a stretcher.

That night he asked head athletic trainer Greg Hauck, who accompanied him to the hospital, to show him video of the collision.

"When I saw it, things kind of came back to me a little bit," he said. "I still don't remember a whole lot, but I kind of remember moving to left and going after the ball, but that's when it went dark."

Piscotty watched the video only once.

"It made me worried about my family," he said. "I know they were watching, and it scared them a little bit. So that popped first in my mind. I knew I was fine at the time, so it wasn't too hard to watch it. I was thinking about my family, who probably saw it live."

His father caught a red-eye flight from the Bay Area that night and arrived at his son's side on Tuesday morning.

Piscotty has little visible damage to his face aside from a swollen lip, and he did not lose any teeth.

"[I'm] so fortunate," he said. "When you watch it, it could have been a whole lot worse."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.