'Tremendously lucky' Fister passes latest tests

'Tremendously lucky' Fister passes latest tests

'Tremendously lucky' Fister passes latest tests
DETROIT -- Tigers right-hander Doug Fister was back on the field and working out on Saturday, two days after Gregor Blanco's line drive ricocheted off his head during Detroit's 2-0 loss in Game 2 of the World Series. Fister passed his latest round of tests on Friday, just as he had after Thursday's game, and showed no signs of so much as a headache.

Though head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said on Saturday that he'll keep checking in with Fister each day, Rand said there's no reason at this point for any further testing. The only sign left of the shot he took was a scrape on his head.

World Series

Fister was back on the field and working out with the Tigers during batting practice on Saturday before Game 3.

"He doesn't even have a hematoma," Rand said. "He has an abrasion."

At this point, Rand said, Fister's focus is on starting a potential Game 6 on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET air time on FOX, 8:15 first pitch) in San Francisco.

The terrifying sight of the line drive striking Fister's head in the second inning of Game 2 put the Tigers' handling of the situation into focus, from Fister staying in the game for six-plus innings to the right-hander flying back to Detroit with the team after the game.

The Tigers countered with two points. First, trainers checked with Fister on the mound after the incident and in the dugout after each inning, then team physician Michael Workings did more thorough testing after the game. Nothing led the Tigers to suspect a possible concussion or gave any reason to hold Fister back in San Francisco.

"At no point in time did he have a headache," Rand said. "At no point in time did he have any symptoms -- no dizziness, no nothing."

Dr. Workings also sits on the medical staff of the NFL's Detroit Lions, so he's familiar with concussion issues.

Another round of SCAT 2 (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool) testing, a verbal test of memory and cognitive skills, showed no symptoms on Friday. Had Fister shown any questionable signs, Rand said, he would've been sent out for a CT scan and other exams.

Secondly, team officials said, the impact of the ball was not as direct as it initially looked on replay. The fact that the ball hit Fister's head and continued into center field indicated more of a glancing blow than leaving his head with the brunt of the momentum. By contrast, the Sept. 5 comebacker that fractured the skull of Oakland's Brandon McCarthy and forced him to the hospital for emergency brain surgery bounced off his head and was redirected toward third base.

"It looked far worse," Rand said.

Given where the ball could've hit him, Rand called Fister "tremendously lucky."