MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Knight can relate to Drew's vertigo symptoms

Nats studio analyst and former big leaguer sheds light on how condition affected him

Knight can relate to Drew's vertigo symptoms

WASHINGTON -- Nationals infielder Stephen Drew, who is on the disabled list because of vertigo-like symptoms, took batting practice and ground balls on Monday, according to manager Dusty Baker.

The skipper believes Drew is feeling much better because he "fielded a lot of ground balls." However, there is still no timetable as to when Drew will be back on the field.

Ray Knight, who is a studio analyst on Nationals games, can relate to what Drew is going through. As a member of the Mets in 1985, Knight missed time because of vertigo and ended up having one of the worst seasons of his career. Unlike Drew, Knight didn't have the flu before getting hit with vertigo. It was early June. Knight was healthy and in bed. He turned over and everything was spinning around him.

"It scared me. I didn't know if I was having a stroke," Knight remembered. "I went to the ballpark early. It kind of went away. But I felt off centered. I didn't feel exactly right. ... I had a funny feeling."

Later that day against the Dodgers, there was a popup to Knight at third base. He looked up and vertigo hit him very hard, but he managed to make the play. He immediately took himself out of the game. Knight then spent four days in a New Jersey hospital trying to figure out what was wrong with him. It was then that doctors identified the condition.

With vertigo-like symptoms keeping Drew out of the lineup, Knight believes the Nationals are missing a key piece off the bench.

"With Drew, he is such a valuable part of what the Nationals have," Knight said. "He has been so good. I think he is the best utility guy in all of baseball, when you combine offense, understanding of the game and the ability to play those three infield positions. He is a great baserunner. He is a guy that could still play every day. I can see it in his swing. I hope when he gets back, he can get some really good reps and not have a recurrence [of vertigo] -- that he is completely through it."

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.