Nick Hurtado, a lefthander for Santiago High in Corona, Calif., recently received news that he'll be out for the season after a cancerous tumor was found in his left knee. Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times originally reported the news.
"I've known the kid since he was 10," Santiago head coach Ty DeTrinidad said. "He's a phenomenal kid."
DeTrinidad said that Hurtado had complained about a sore knee before Christmas break. When the team returned to workouts the pain was still there so he went in for an x-ray. Doctors didn't like what they saw and ordered an MRI. That's when they discovered a tumor. Originally they said it was spreading quickly and they might have to amputate. Hurtado went to UCLA medical for further tests and the doctors feel there is a very good chance amputation won't be necessary, but baseball is obviously going to be put on hold for a while. DeTrinidad added that Hurtado has handled the situation very well and even said he knew baseball was out of the question and he just wanted to keep his leg. Hurtado will undergo chemotherapy for a few months and then doctors will likely cut into his femur and insert a rod.
"It's been a tough week," De Trinidad told the Press-Enterprise. "But I'm not thinking about losing my No. 1 pitcher (Hurtado). The No. 1 thing is his health."
Hurtado is a strong-bodied southpaw that is committed to Cal State Fullerton. He generally works 84-87 mph with his fastball and also mixes in a changeup and curveball. Coaches rave about his makeup and Fullerton recruiting coordinator Sergio Brown was especially excited about landing his commitment, but is understandably torn up about the news.
"He's a real upbeat, awesome kid," Brown said. "He's smiling all the time. He's respectful. You know he's going to be fun to coach. We try to make the recruits feel like a part of our family immediately. As a coach you're never really prepared for something like that. We addressed our team about it."
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