Aroldis Chapman: Timeline for recovery from line drive to the face can be sooner, later or never

Fear could be obstacle

Moments after seeing the video of Aroldis Chapman being hit in the head by a line drive, Brandon McCarthy was on Twitter saying there's no point in speculating when – or if – the Reds closer will pitch again "until they do a scan."

McCarthy should know. He's the poster boy for pitchers who got hit in the head by line drives.

The 29-year-old right-hander represents the pitchers who were able to resume their careers when others were not – either because of their physical injuries or because of psychological scars. In the latter case, the fear of getting hit again can be paralyzing.

McCarthy's life-threatening injuries, in a September 2012 game, almost killed him. But he was able to come back in 2013, though he is still trying to get back to the old Brandon McCarthy.

If the Reds and Chapman are lucky, the lefty may come back in four weeks like Willie Blair of the Detroit Tigers did in 1991, when a line drive broke his jaw.

In a worst-case scenario, Chapman could be in danger of becoming the next Herb Score.

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