On Sunday Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Drew Smyly left his start early against the Cincinnati Reds due to injury. The injury for which he left the game was believed to be a blood blister that had ruptured; however, that’s not the case. Not even close.
Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control announced yesterday that Smyly, in fact, has “just a little” Ebola. Dr, Prajit Kapoor said yesterday:
After extensive testing by a team of leading experts in the field of infectious disease, we’ve determined that Mr. Smyly definitely has Ebola—or, at the very least, an Ebola-like virus—but that, strangely, it is confined to the tip of his left middle-finger and is unlikely to spread further.
Smyly noticed the Ebola on Sunday, while warming up for the game. As mentioned above, he thought it was a blood blister. When it began causing him some pain, Smyly left the game.
It started hurting and affecting my pitches. Honestly, I just thought it was a blister. I mean, I knew it looked bad, but you never think it’s a life-threatening disease responsible for thousands of horrifying deaths.
If this isn’t the weirdest “injury” in the history of baseball, I’ll be shocked. With such a rare condition, sometimes it takes a few days to diagnose the problem. When asked if the delay in the diagnosis was due to the rarity of the infection, Dr. Kapoor offered a very honest response. “Actually, it was less that and more how gross it is. I, personally, vomited four times.”
This raises the question of how Smyly became infected. I have no clue. But the fact that this happened in Cincinnati is probably the least surprising part of the story.