Phillies Minor Leaguer Loses Eye in Freak Stretching Accident

Matt Imhof, a second-round pick in the 2014 MLB amateur draft, was struck by a piece of metal while working out last week. Tuesday, he had his eye removed.

A photo posted by Matt Imhof (@matt_imhof48) on

Matt Imhof, a Phillies minor leaguer who was drafted in the second round of the 2014 MLB amateur draft, has lost his eye in a freak stretching accident.

Imhof hurt his right eye when he was stretching after a game last Friday. A piece of metal equipment “malfunctioned,” according to ESPN, and struck Imhof in the right eye. He was rushed to the hospital and had surgery.

Today, on his Instagram, Imhof wrote doctors at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute told him his eye “had been crushed like a grape.” Imhof also suffered two broken orbital bones and a fractured nose in the accident.

Imhof was told he’d likely never regain vision in his right eye. “The first surgery was somewhat a success but overall nothing had changed,” he wrote on Instagram, “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.”

Imhof pitched over three seasons in the Phillies’ minor league system and was transitioning from a starting role to the bullpen this year.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

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