Cobb anxious to return from head injury

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SARASOTA - The Rays’ Alex Cobb endured something that many pitchers never fully recover from, but Monday night he spoke for the first time since getting hit in the head by a line drive.

A week and a half ago, the Rays’ up and coming young pitcher was nailed in the head by a line drive off the bat of the Royals Eric Hosmer. It looked so bad that Hosmer didn't even want to run to 1st base. He just wanted to go to Cobb.

"You realize how fortunate you are and how lucky I was to make it out of that situation okay," says Cobb, who was taken off the field on a stretcher and then to the hospital. Thankfully, he only suffered a mild concussion, and never even lost consciousness. "It’s healing quicker than she expected and she said I should see some drastic improvement in the next week or so."

Coincidentally, the Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ suffered a fractured skull when hit on the same mound in May, but it was a knee injury he got when he fell that was more troublesome.

Chris Jakubauskas was hit a couple of years ago while making his Pirates debut, and the Red Sox Bryce Florie was knocked out of the game -- and basically the league -- in September of 2000 when he got hit with a Ryan Thompson line drive.

No one know the mental or physical ramifications after such an episode. "I'll be ready to go as soon as my body tells me I'm 100%. But mentally there is no doubt in my mind that I will be fine," says Cobb.

Cobb, who is 6-2 this season, expects to return, but there is no timetable -- or guarantee. “I've read a few things that I might not even return this season. Nothing could be further from the truth."

In the end, he doesn't think headgear is such a bad idea for pitchers. "I don't want it to turn into something where every pitcher is mandated to wear one. It should be each person's individual choice."