Getty Images

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Pete Fairbanks has returned from the IL, but he is still sporting a black eye. Granted, that black eye came from playing pool basketball with his son and was not part of the original injury that sent him to the IL in the first place.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Fairbanks explained that his black eye was the result of a pool basketball lesson gone wrong. The Rays pitcher said he was trying to give his 3-year-old son a tough lesson about getting lost in the paint when he pulled the hoop down onto his face.

"We were playing at our new house in the pool, and I pulled the hoop down onto my face after dunking on a 3-year-old trying to teach him an early lesson in life that, when you're in the paint, you cannot be caught unaware underneath the rim," Fairbanks said.

Fairbanks received some ribbing from his teammates about his newest injury, but they have to be happy he's back in the bullpen. On May 28, Fairbanks suffered a hip injury that has sidelined him in the middle of a strong season.

In 13 appearances this season, Fairbanks has a 1.54 ERA, 10 strikeouts and five saves. He should really bolster Tampa Bay's pitching as the team looks to protect its AL East lead.