Surgery saves leg of Dodgers' Ellis
What seemed like a routine play -- an infielder being upended turning a double play -- nearly cost Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis his left leg last weekend.
Ellis, 34, had emergency surgery Saturday to drain blood and other fluids that were affecting the leg's muscles, and manager Don Mattingly told news reporters that doctors told him they might have had to amputate the leg if the condition hadn't been addressed in another six or seven hours.
Ellis was taken out on a hard slide by the St. Louis Cardinals' Tyler Greene on Friday and told trainer Sue Falsone the leg still bothered him Saturday.
After examination, she and her staff decided to get Ellis to a nearby hospital, and the surgery to relieve pressure on the leg's muscles was performed immediately.
Mattingly said team doctor Neal ElAttrache told him, "If that thing goes another six or seven hours, you've got a chance of losing a leg. Doc said the muscle basically dies, doesn't get any blood flow."
Doctors say the injury is rare and usually seen in automobile crashes. Mattingly and bench coach Trey Hillman visited Ellis in the hospital and said the infielder would be sidelined for about six weeks.
According to MLB.com, because the injury caused so much swelling and pain, Ellis wasn't able to complete a full MRI, so other injuries remain a possibility. The contact with Greene occurred a few inches below Ellis' left knee, and the Dodgers are hopeful the knee was unaffected.
Ellis was expected to be hospitalized until today.
"That was scary. I didn't realize how bad that was," Mattingly said, praising Falsone and the medical staff.
"You could see the pain a little bit," said Mattingly, according to the Los Angeles Times. "And Sue had a funny look on her face. I'm like, 'I don't like that look on your face, Sue.' And Mark's like, 'I don't either.'"
Mattingly said when he saw him, the infielder "had some medication in him, so he was feeling all right. He seemed OK -- as good a spirit as you can be in."
Ellis is hitting .273 in 37 games this season, all at second base.
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