- The Washington Times - Friday, April 17, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco Giants rookie pitcher Joe Martinez rejoined his teammates Friday for the first time since getting hit in the head by a Mike Cameron line drive last week.

Martinez, who was hospitalized for nearly a week and suffered a concussion and three small hairline fractures on the right side of his head as a result of the April 9 game, was dressed in street clothes as he walked through the clubhouse before the Giants’ game against Arizona.

The 26-year-old right-hander had a black eye, but otherwise was unscathed and unfazed.

“I don’t have too many lasting side effects,” a smiling Martinez said as he sat flanked by team trainer Dave Groeschner and Dr. Anthony Saglimbeni, the Giants’ team doctor. “I’m not dizzy. I don’t have any nausea. My vision’s good so I’m feeling good.”

Two nights after getting the win in his major league debut on April 7, Martinez was brought in the final inning of a 7-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

After retiring the first two hitters, Martinez fell behind Cameron 2-1 when the Brewers’ veteran outfielder hit a line drive toward the mound.

Martinez tried to deflect the ball with his glove, but it hit just above his right temple and caromed off the field into foul territory near the Brewers’ dugout.

After a few minutes, Martinez walked away with a cloth held to his nose. He was taken to a hospital and underwent a series of tests.

Martinez was released from the hospital Wednesday and returned to AT&T Park in time for the beginning of the Giants’ five-game homestand.

“I came back the other day just to kind of get some stuff but it’s always nice to be back, especially with the guys back,” Martinez said. “I feel like I’m part of the team again. I just laid up here in San Francisco while they were on the road trip, which was tough.”

Martinez has seen replays of the incident “three or four times” but still doesn’t have a full recollection everything that happened.

“I was lucky I guess,” Martinez said. “My eye was swollen for the first couple of days. It kind of narrowed my vision a little but other than that it’s been pretty good.”

The Giants don’t have a timetable for when Martinez can begin pitching again. He is restricted from doing any rehab work for at least a month and will have to essentially start his season over once he gets clearance to resume throwing.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose team entered the series against Arizona on a six-game losing streak, welcomed Martinez back.

“I know the team wanted to see him, and we’ve been thinking about him,” Bochy said. “To have him around and to have everyone see that he’s going to be fine is going to be nice. After what he’s been through, it’s going to take some time. But it’s still nice to have him back in the clubhouse. I’m sure he missed being around the guys and being in the clubhouse. It’s like a support system, so it’ll be good for him.”

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