Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero is said to be progressing following ear re-attachment surgery, and the hope remains that the ear has been saved after losing a significant chunk of it in a biting incident, Guerrero's agent Scott Boras said.
"We're still not out of the woods. But we're optimistic. The doctor gave a good report [on Thursday]," Boras said by phone.
There is no timetable yet for Guerrero's return, as the whole emphasis is on his health at the moment. Guerrero, an infielder, had been on hot streak at Triple-A Albuquerque, hitting .600 (16 for 25) with six home runs over the six games before the dugout altercation with ex-teammate Miguel Olivo, who was said by witnesses to bite off a chunk of Guerrero's ear. The ear was said to have fallen to the dugout floor before being recovered.
"The first thing is to save the ear, and the hope is that reattachment surgery was a success," Boras said. As for discussion of a return to playing, Boras said, "We're not at that point."
While there is progress and positive signs, if the surgery didn't succeed, there are other means and surgeries that can be tried. For now Guerrero is staying at a hotel across the street from UCLA Medical Center, while checking in daily at the hospital and spending two-to-three hours daily in a hyperbaric chamber, which increases oxygen, and hopefully healing. For the moment, sweat and exposure is discouraged, so Guerrero wears a complete cover when outside for his trips to the hospital.
As for Guerrero's outlook, while he was understandably said to be "shocked" and "angered" shortly after the biting incident, Boras said he is doing "much better" psychologically this week. "When you experience a violent act -- although it occurred on the ball field -- it's no different than being attacked on the street," Boras said. "It has a dramatic impact on one's life and profession."
The decision as to whether to press charges against Olivo, who has since been released by the team after the Dodgers' investigation confirmed the initial reports of the biting, Boras said, "We haven't addressed the subject. We'll review the legal situation in time."