Miami Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton spoke out Thursday night for the first time about the gruesome injury that ended his 2014 season, saying he felt fortunate and that he hopes to return to action by spring training.
"I was really fortunate," Stanton told reporters Thursday, according to MLB.com. "I could have my mouth wired shut now. I could have a plate in my face. I could have a lot of things. I'll take a few missing teeth over all of that."
Stanton was hit in the face by an 88 mph fastball last week from Milwaukee Brewers starter Mike Fiers. He suffered facial lacerations requiring stitches, multiple facial fractures and dental damage. Stanton said Thursday he also suffered a fracture in his orbital bone, but it didn't affect his vision. Overall, he said the swelling in his face has gone "way down."
Stanton said full recovery should take about six to eight weeks. He also said he plans to wear a helmet with an extension to protect his face when he returns.
"You hear about people losing their eye, or you lose vision," he said. "My jaw can be broken. I can lose as many teeth. As long as I'm able to see, that's the big career thing."
Stanton said he had hoped to play in all 162 games this season, something he was on track to do before his injury. He led the National League with 37 homers and 105 RBI at the time of his injury, something that has made him a prime candidate for the league's Most Valuable Player award.