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Mariners injury updates: Ryon Healy, Braden Bishop not close to returns

Mariners 1B Ryon Healy will get an epidural Tuesday to relieve pain from spinal stenosis. (AP)

Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy finally knows why his back has been ailing him.

The diagnosis is not really good news, though.

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A specialist in Los Angeles diagnosed Healy with spinal stenosis, he told reporters ahead of Monday’s Mariners-Royals game. That’s the same injury that ended Seahawks All-Pro safety Kam Chancellor’s career, though the 27-year-old Healy doesn’t expect his stenosis – a narrowing of the spinal canal – to have that drastic of an impact. Healy said he will get an epidural Tuesday to relieve pain and hopefully get his rehab on track.

Healy, who was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 21, is expected to be out another three to four weeks.

“They’re saying I’m getting a little bit of referred pain to my low right back. Obviously not ideal but something I need to take care of because I need my back to be healthy the rest of my life,” Healy said. “… It’s something that a lot of people kinda live with kind of in general. Unfortunately when it gets flared up like that, it’s pretty uncomfortable, and (baseball) being a very rotational sport, that’s what was aggravating it a lot. … Once it flares up, everything bothers it. Can’t sit or stand comfortably, and you can imagine how rotating feels.”

Healy was reticent to estimate when he could return after his experience during his first few weeks out of action.

“It’s hard for me to put a timetable on it. I think I did that the first couple weeks and I was really stressing myself about how badly I wanted to get back on the field – I never really wanted to go on the IL in general,” he said. “The fact that this ended up being this long of a thing, it’s just been frustrating. This is not a fun process for any of us. Obviously the spine is something that’s pretty severe, it’s not something we really want to mess with, but we rehab this properly (and) the epidural works, this shouldn’t be a problem ever again.”

Braden Bishop returns to clubhouse

Another Mariners player out with a significant injury, outfielder Braden Bishop, was back in Seattle’s clubhouse Monday for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a lacerated spleen. He has a long road ahead of him before he will be back on the field – Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that it is expected to be six to eight weeks – but is certainly glad to be feeling better after a pretty harrowing ordeal.

“I think anything is gonna be better than what I was feeling. It was something I would not wish upon anybody,” Bishop said.

The 25-year-old rookie had to abruptly leave Seattle’s June 4 game against Houston with an injury believed to have been suffered days prior when he was hit by a pitch in a Triple-A game.

“Come the fourth inning of that game against Houston and I couldn’t stand up straight, then I knew, OK, now time to say something. And we still couldn’t figure out what it was until the next day,” continued Bishop. “… I saw Dr. (Ed) Khalfayan (the next day), and the look on his face told me it wasn’t something small. We actually ended up walking five blocks to the Harborview ER, they did a CT, there was a torn blood vessel in my spleen and basically within 2 1/2 hours I was going in for a procedure to glue it shut, stop the bleeding. It was really scary.”

While the procedure fixed the problem, the ordeal wasn’t over for Bishop.

“They did the procedure and told me I wasn’t going to feel much different. They had to stop the bleeding but I had so much blood in my abdomen that they just said it would take seven to 10 days to reabsorb, so the first four days were very uncomfortable and painful,” Bishop said.

Bishop added that he couldn’t eat for two days after the surgery and still isn’t cleared for “jarring” exercise like jogging or running. He will have a considerable amount of weight to put back on when cleared to resume athletic activity.

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