Clearwater pitcher Matt Imhof had his injured right eye surgically removed Tuesday after an earlier surgery didn't have the desired results.
The 22-year old lefty, who was the Phillies second round pick in the 2014 Draft, suffered the injury last Friday when a bracket holding a resistance band loosened from the wall and hit him in the face while he was doing a post-game workout routine. The incident left Imhof with a fractured nose, two fractured orbital bones and the loss of vision in his right eye. Surgery to reconstruct the eye was unsuccessful and doctors advised Imhof to have the eye removed.
Doctors advised removing the injured eye to prevent Sympathetic Opthalmia, a condition where the non-injured eye degrades to the point of causing complete blindness.
Imhof announced the extent of the injuries and the decision to remove his eye on a post on Instagram on Thursday.
As many of you know on Friday June 25th I had an accident. A large price of metal hit me in the head/eye resulting in a fractured nose, 2 fractured orbital bones, and most significantly, the loss of vision in my right eye. I was immediately taken to the ER and then transferred to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the #1 eye hospital in the world. That night, the doctors informed me that the damage to my eye was extreme and essentially that my eye had been crushed like a grape. The doctors told me they were going to do everything possible to reconstruct it but in all likelihood I would never regain sight in my right eye. The first surgery was somewhat a success but overall nothing had changed, so after discussions with my family and my doctors, it was decided that the best chance I had to live a normal life was to have my right eye removed and have a prosthetic one put in. This decision was not an easy one to make but to me it seemed like the right one so on Tuesday afternoon I went forward with the surgery. I'm currently still in Miami recovering from surgery but I'm doing well. This has been the hardest week of my life but I've had amazing support from my family and friends to help me get through it. For those who have been wishing me well, your support has not gone unnoticed and I appreciate everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers. I had the best doctors in the world doing their best work on me and for that I am grateful as well. Although this injury has been tough it could have been much worse...I'm lucky to still have vision in my left eye...I'm lucky that i didn't have brain damage...and I'm lucky to be surrounded my the most loving and understanding people in the world. I just wanted to write this message to let everyone know that even though I suffered some bad luck, I'm not dead. I'm gonna be alright, I'm gonna persevere, and I'm gonna succeed. It takes more than this to bring me down. Again thanks to everyone for the support.
The incident occurred at Brevard County Stadium, following Clearwater's win over the Manatees. Imhof was doing a post-game stretching regime with resistance bands when the metal bracket connected to the wall suddenly let loose, leaving Imhof with no time to react.
The Phillies took Imhof in the second round of the 2014 Draft out of Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo. In his third minor league season, Imhof had established a record of 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 43 games, including 38 starts.
Matt Imhof career stats
|All Levels (3 Seasons)||13||10||3.69||43||38||173.0||154||87||71||15||93||147||1.428||1.58|