Hennessey had non-cancerous tumor

By Jeff Fletcher
March 5, 2002

Brad Hennessey, the Giants’ first-round pick in last June’s draft, is expected to be out until at least late May after a scare involving a tumor in his back.

Only after months of failed treatments and inconclusive tests did the Giants learn that Hennessey’s back pain was caused by a quarter-sized tumor near his neck. The tumor proved to be non-cancerous.

Giants trainer Stan Conte said he wasn’t sure how much time Hennessey, a righthander picked 21st overall last year out of Youngstown State, would be out until he heard from the surgeons who removed the tumor on Feb. 27. Conte said Hennessey would need only six-to-eight weeks to recover before beginning another six-to-eight weeks of rehab.

“This freaked us out,” Conte said, “because we get used to torn rotator cuffs and torn cartilage and stuff that we think is serious, but we had never seen this before. We basically watched him day and night when he was here. Twenty-four hours a day we were worried about it.”

Hennessey, 22, was the Mid-Continent co-pitcher of the year last season, going 6-5, 4.06 with 126 strikeouts in 89 innings. He signed for a $1,382,500 bonus and went 1-0, 2.38 in 34 innings for short-season Salem-Keizer. He ranks as the organization’s No. 18 prospect.