Braves minor league manager Salazar loses eye in mishap

NEW YORK Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:02pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Doctors were unable to prevent Atlanta Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar from losing an eye after being knocked unconscious by a foul ball one week ago, the National League team said on Wednesday.

Salazar, 54, was hit in the left eye by a line drive struck by Braves slugger Brian McCann into the first-base dugout during a Florida spring training game.

A former major league utility player, Salazar fell heavily and slammed his head on the dugout floor before being airlifted to hospital.

"As the doctor told us from the very beginning, in the big picture, this is a really good outcome," Braves general manager Frank Wren told the Major League Baseball website.

Salazar, who mainly played third base in the major leagues from 1980 to 1992 for the San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, manages Atlanta's Class A Lynchburg team.

Wren said the Venezuelan might be able to return next week to Atlanta's spring training complex, where he had been serving as a coach in his first season with the Braves organization.

"Doctors have told us and him that there's no reason why in about four or six weeks, he can't manage his team," Wren said.

"He's progressing very well... he's focused on getting back to work. Louie is a baseball guy. He loves managing. He loves coaching."

(Writing by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Julian Linden; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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