Thole waiting on clearance before returning

Thole waiting on clearance before returning

Thole waiting on clearance before returning
NEW YORK -- Josh Thole is ready to move on to the next step. Thole, who hasn't played since suffering a concussion on May 7, returned to Citi Field on Tuesday for an examination, and the catcher said that he hoped to pass an impact test and return to baseball activities in short order.

Thole, who was injured on a play at the plate in Philadelphia, said he suffered headaches and increased light sensitivity for a few days after the initial impact. Thole also said that he's been symptom-free since Friday, and he was looking forward to meeting with the team's physicians to plan out his next move.

"I couldn't really do a whole lot," said Thole of the last week. "Sunday, I started walking around a little more. Other than that, the first four days was [spent] resting, laying in my bed, sleeping a lot."

Thole has had multiple head injuries before, but he's uncertain as to how many of them actually led to a concussion. The backstop said he had an incident that led to vomiting in 2007 and another one that was more like whiplash in '08, and he also got hit in the helmet by a bat during the '10 campaign.

Thole planned on taking an impact test Tuesday, and the results of that examination would better give the doctors to make a decision on his recovery. The 25-year-old said he has no reason to believe he's more susceptible to another head injury, but he said he wants to be as careful as possible.

"It's a wait-and-see type of thing," he said. "I think the biggest thing is what's going on right now, and not only in baseball, but in other sports. It's something that you don't want to rush back into. You want to definitely build back up and you just really have to listen to what the doctors have to say."

Manager Terry Collins said that Thole will likely need at least one rehab game with a Minor League affiliate before he returns to the lineup, and Thole said he has one other change in mind. Thole said that he will switch to a hockey-style catcher's mask in the future in order to combat head injuries.

"A lot of guys wear them. I just never did," said Thole of the new mask. "I don't know why it was or why I didn't, but I think this is the final straw. It's a helmet that you're not going to take off from time to time. You're going to leave it on to catch fly balls. You're going to leave it on more times than not."