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His road back to the mound will begin this fall, but there is no blueprint on how things will go. Dugger said he has never seen an injury like this in baseball. A fracture of the C-1 vertebra is usually associated with "diving accidents in a shallow pool or car accidents. That's the most common way to fracture that vertebra," he said. "There are a high number of them will either have paralysis or, unfortunately, the other."
Nicasio is expected to start physical therapy in about six weeks with a goal of throwing by spring training.
"Once he's cleared by the proper doctors, we'll map out like we do with any injury, small goals to reach, and when he reaches one goal we'll go to the next step," Dugger said. "I don't really have a time frame because we don't know. Our goal right now is to get him healthy enough to go to the instructional league just to work on some range of motion stuff in Arizona. Then go to the instructional league in the Dominican Republic, let him go home.
"He'll report early to spring training. That's the initial outline right now."
Nicasio is happy with his progress, so far.
"Thank God I can walk," he said. "That was my biggest fear."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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