Boston Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke announced on Friday that left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez has been cleared by doctors and the team's training staff to resume walking and other physical activity in a couple of weeks, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. Rodriguez, who had previously been limited physically to "moving around the house," announced two months ago that he had myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, that stemmed from a bout with COVID-19.
Rodriguez, 27, appears to be the Major League Baseball player most affected by SARS-CoV-2. Myocarditis -- which can impact the "heart's ability to pump" and can cause "rapid or abnormal heart rhythms," per the Mayo Clinic -- is often a side effect of viral infections.
For example, The Atlantic's Ed Yong recently addressed the ailment and its connection with COVID-19, noting that "signs of heart damage in 40 and 55 percent of children who were hospitalized with RSV -- a common respiratory virus." (Yong concluded that it's too early to know the long-term implications of COVID-initiated myocarditis, and his comment was meant only to illustrate how past viral infections have been known to cause similar issues.)
The Red Sox are said to be hopeful that Rodriguez can rejoin the team heading into the 2021 season. In 127 career appearances, including 122 starts, he has a 4.03 ERA (113 ERA+) and 2.86 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Last season, he earned Cy Young Award consideration for the first time, having posted a 126 ERA+ over a career-high 203 innings pitched.
"I want to be pitching yesterday, the day before, or today," Rodriguez said in July. "I want to be out there every time I can, so I'm never thinking of getting out of the season. I feel bad every time I see a game happening and I'm not even in the dugout."