According to Yahoo! Sports, All-Star closer Francisco Rodriguez returned to New York Mets camp on Monday after being hampered by conjunctivitis for more than two weeks. He also threw a very successful bullpen session this morning at Port St. Lucie.
Rodriguez had been told to stay away from the team until the pink eye cleared, but the contagious infection took longer than expected to improve. He was sick when he reported to New York’s spring facility, but his eye went undiagnosed until just before full-squad workouts began on February 25th.
The right-hander said he went to the doctor on Friday and was cleared to return Monday, although he still is infected. He continues to take eye drops and isn’t allowed to wear contacts yet.
“It feels much better,” Rodriguez said. “It’s still a little uncomfortable, but it’s good to be around. I was cleared to be around the guys, so it’s fine.”
While away from the team, Rodriguez found anyway he could to throw and was limited to playing catch with his brother, Edward, in the driveway of his home, but Rodriguez said he is not worried about his progress. He told reporters that he probably only needs one bullpen session before pitching in a game, and is looking forward to getting back into a regular routine.
Rodriguez last stepped on a mound about a week ago when he emerged from hiding for a light bullpen session.
“It’s not the same thing playing catch as doing bullpens, being on the field and doing field drills,” Rodriguez said. “It’s completely different, but the good thing is I played winter ball and I am good.”
Rodriguez first had conjunctivitis in his left eye but it quickly spread to the right eye. He said his entire family back in Venezuela has conjunctivitis as well, and now his brother has it in both eyes.
Rodriguez plans to wear prescription sunglasses for a few weeks until his eyes feel completely healthy.
“The first couple days the infection was really strong, and I kind of lost the vision,” Rodriguez said. “It made it a little blurry, but right now I don’t have that, so it’s good.”
Good to know that K-Rod is back to camp and is slowly feeling better. Hopefully we will be able to get a look at him soon in a spring training game once he feels comfortable on the mound once again.