Austin Jackson thought he broke his collarbone in wall collision, but just has a stiff neck
DETROIT — After crashing into the outfield wall in Saturday’s game, Jim Leyland held Austin Jackson out of Sunday’s contest as a precaution. Turns out he wouldn’t have been able to play anyway.
With stiffness and soreness in his trapezius muscle (back of the neck), Jackson wasn’t able to throw, and would only have been available as a pinch runner at most. He got treatment during the game Sunday, and is questionable for Monday.
“It was kind of weird. I had to go back and watch the replays a couple of times to kind of see how it looked, or whatever,” said Jackson, who hit the wall shoulder-first, trying to catch a blast off the bat of Cleveland’s Carlos Santana. “Once I hit, my neck kind of snapping like that, kind of whiplash a little bit. I think that’s really what took the biggest blow. My shoulder’s fine. I was a little bit wary about that, just because it kind of went numb for a second.
“Once I got back on my feet, my wind was completely gone. I had no wind. So I had to catch my breath for a little bit.”
So did his manager, who sprinted out to center field, with trainer Kevin Rand to check on Jackson. Who was more winded, Jackson or Leyland?
“Probably Skip. That was a long run for Skip,” Jackson laughed. “He didn’t say anything for a little bit. He let Kevin do most of the talking.”
Leyland didn’t disagree.
“I was probably in more danger than Austin Jackson was. I wasn’t very happy about that,” Leyland said. “I don’t mind if Miggy falls down at third. I can get out there. But when a guy’s 420 feet away, those Marlboros were kicking in about halfway between second base and center field. I’m glad Kevin took a long time to examine him.”
It became a laughing matter, once Jackson could breathe again.
It wasn’t at first, though.
“Just on impact, I thought I broke my collarbone. Just because I hit it so hard, and it happened so quick. It was just numb,” said Jackson, who hasn’t slammed into a wall like that in a while.
“That’s the thing: I knew it was coming up, but I didn’t think it was right there, you know what I mean? It kind of caught me off guard, and I think that’s what caused it. I didn’t get a chance to really brace for it. I still thought I had another step to go.
“You just keep running and are like, ‘Well, I know it’s coming up soon, but ...’
“Especially when balls are are hit to center, you don’t think about the wall, really, too much. It’s over your head, or probably a home run.”
Santana ended up with a home run on the play, just of the inside-the-park variety.