You really won't believe how Sean Doolittle injured his foot

Chris Lingebach
July 11, 2018 - 11:58 am

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Nationals closer Sean Doolittle won't make his second-career All-Star appearance after all.

Doolittle, who's gone 3-2 with a 1.45 ERA and 22 saves in 35 appearances, was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a pinched nerve in his left foot on Tuesday.

Retroactive to July 7, the all-too untimely move leaves Doolittle eligible to return from the DL on July 17, the day of the 2018 All-Star Game at Nationals Park.

Doolittle confirmed to Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Wednesday that there's no way he can pitch in the All-Star Game.

"Unless they're gonna let me use the All-Star game as like my rehab assignment," he joked.

"I will participate in everything that they will let me participate in," he said. "I'm still obviously going to go and I'm super excited to really just be a part of that whole experience and all the craziness that is the All-Star week. I did do it one time, but it's such a whirlwind. It goes by so fast, cause you are really busy. There's a lot of things going on."

"It's really hard to make it in the first place. It's really hard to make it as a reliever," he said. "I want to experience every last little bit of this. They're not getting rid of me that easy. I'll be there. I can't hit in the Home Run Derby either, that's a big bummer. I'll be in uniform for the game, I just won't be able to pitch."

You really won't believe how Doolittle sustained the injury.

"I was walking to the field the other day," he explained, "and there was a litter of puppies that was trapped on train tracks, and I had to jump onto the track – there was a train coming – and I was trying to save the puppies. I got my foot kind of twisted on the rail, you know, but I got the save."

Paulsen followed up: "All the puppies are accounted for?"

"Yeah," Doolittle confirmed. "It was worth it."

As for the recovery process, Doolittle says he's letting the inflamed nerve calm down a bit after testing it with a bullpen session earlier in the week.

"We cranked it up, because after being day-to-day for a few days, we really needed to see where it was at," he explained. "And I got off the mound and it felt okay during that bullpen session, but pretty soon after it really flared up again. So right now, we're just trying to let it calm down."

"That nerve that runs through, it's kind of on the bridge of the foot almost, kind of up above the first and second toe," he said.

"It's inflamed – the swelling's gone down, but there's really no timetable for it. Because it's a nerve, it's a little bit different. But we got the boot. I've got this cool Adidas walking boot that I'm walking around in right now, and we're just trying to take some of the pressure off and let it calm down, and then we'll start working our way back."

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