LOS ANGELES - Mike Cameron was to undergo facial surgery Friday night, one day after his frightening outfield collision with New York Mets teammate Carlos Beltran.
Cameron was scheduled to be operated on in San Diego, where he is expected to remain for at least four more days. Beltran was expected to miss New York’s three-game weekend series with the Los Angeles Dodgers because of a concussion and a small fracture in his cheekbone.
Both players spent Thursday night at different hospitals following their seventh-inning crash in the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Padres. Cameron and Beltran were running at full speed toward David Ross’ looping fly to short right-center, and their heads hit as they left their feet to catch the ball.
Watching it again on the highlight shows didn’t make it any less gruesome for their teammates.
“I didn’t see it that many times, but I didn’t even want to see it after that. Once was enough,” manager Willie Randolph said. “I’ve seen a lot of different collisions — but when you get two guys who are going straight out like that, it’s scary because when they bump heads, you never know what can happen.
“My fear was that they didn’t lapse into any type of seizure or coma, or whatever. It could have been a lot worse.”
Cameron broke his nose, had multiple fractures of both cheekbones and a concussion. The right fielder was placed on the 15-day disabled list immediately after the game, and Victor Diaz was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk for Friday night’s game. Diaz started in right field against the Dodgers and Gerald Williams took over in center for Beltran.
“We’d love to have our big boys in there, but we’re going to keep playing, man,” Randolph said. “This team has always stepped up this year, so I feel in my heart that we’ll be OK. We’ll just pick each other up and do what we’ve got to do to win some more ballgames. I’m very confident about that.
“There’s no doubt that we’re going to miss those guys. Hopefully, Beltran will get back before long, but we’ll have to hold the fort until Cammy gets back.”
'Not good with blood'
Aug. 11: The Mets' Cliff Floyd and the Padres' Joe Randa and Jake Peavy talk about the head-on collision between Mets teammates Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron.
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.