While Giancarlo Stanton had been looking better physically and there was still a chance that he could return in 2014, a latest battery of testing done on Tuesday has essentially nullified his chances of making a recovery in time for the end of the 2014 season. Marlins manager Mike Redmond made mention before the team's 7-1 loss to the New York Mets that it was unlikely that Stanton would return this year.
"[Stanton] was being checked out later this afternoon," Redmond said. "We'll have an official statement [Wednesday], but it's probably not looking good for him."
Stanton suffered multiple fractures and dental injuries, but he required no surgery at the time. The facial lacerations were healed, and the rest of his injuries were left to heal on their own. But after doctors checked on him yesterday, it seems now unlikely that he will make a return this year.
And this is totally understandable. Jason Heyward broke his jaw on a hit-by-pitch last season and missed about a month. Stanton's injury was more cephalic (upward) than that one, but given that there was no surgery, it makes sense that he would require a similar amount of time to heal. The body still needs a good amount healing time to make sure those bones reconnect properly. Any activity that might disrupt that healing would be bad for his future prognosis.
The Marlins are rightfully being careful about that healing process. There is always a possibility that another facial injury can occur on a hit-by-pitch or even a dive for a fly ball. Stanton may not be able to turn off his natural instincts to prevent such an injury, and if that happens during a critical time in the healing process, it may delay the situation more.
The Marlins would still love to have Stanton on the field this year, and so far they have been very supportive of Stanton throughout his ordeal. But the best way for the team to support him is to avoid sending him out earlier than they should, and the Fish are right to be careful. If this indeed was the end of Stanton's 2014 season, it was an ugly, miserable cap to a fantastic year.