BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates right fielder Xavier Nady, hospitalized earlier in the week for intestinal inflammation, will be examined tomorrow to determine if he has a chronic condition.
Nady said yesterday that, upon doctors' request for information about his family background, it was found that a cousin has Crohn's disease, a lifelong condition that can cause excruciating pain in the digestive area, as well as weight loss and other disruptions. Genetics increase the risk of having the condition.
"The doctors asked if anyone in the family had it, and we said, 'No, we don't think so,' " Nady said. "My mom called after I got released [from the hospital] Thursday and said we just found out one of my cousins had it. So ... we will see."
Nady confirmed that the doctors' initial diagnosis was -- and remains, for now -- a viral infection, which would be the best-case scenario.
"I hope it stays that way," he said.
Professional athletes can compete with Crohn's, though it requires significant adjustments in lifestyle and eating habits. The most notable North American athlete to have it in recent years was former NHL standout Theoren Fleury, who was diagnosed in 1996 at age 28 but remained a top forward in the league for seven more seasons.
Nady said his stomach pain began Sunday night and that he kept it to himself for a day before telling the Pirates' medical staff about it Tuesday. He checked into Manatee Memorial Hospital that night.
The symptoms, Nady said, have improved.
"I'm on a limited diet, but I'm able to eat without having stomach pains. It just goes through phases where it hits me every once in a while like a ton of bricks, and I hunch over. It's no fun."
Nady said he did not feel the pain before Sunday, but he added that it was similar to what he experienced in the five days leading up to an emergency appendectomy May 30, 2006. It is not known if the two ailments are related.
Nady was back in uniform yesterday for the two-hour workout at Pirate City, but he did not participate.
Maz teaches Freddy
Highlight of the day was Freddy Sanchez getting pointers on double-play pivots from the best in history.
"Who better than Bill Mazeroski to work with?" Sanchez said. "It's unreal. I'm new to second base, and I'm learning from him."
The emphasis was on footwork and the transfer from glove to hand.
"When you watch film of Maz, you can't see the transfer," Sanchez said. "It's like ... nothing."
"Freddy can be a fine second baseman," Mazeroski said.
As Jack Wilson rounded second during a baserunning drill, he noticed Mazeroski standing near the bag and spontaneously produced the laugh of the day.
Wilson shouted, "I'm Maz!" as he removed his cap and leaped to imitate the most famous home run trot in franchise lore.
Mazeroski turned redder than the trim on his uniform.
When Wilson did it again rounding third, Kent Tekulve correctly reminded him, "He only did that at second!"
Maz pulling for Aaron
Mazeroski said he would rather not see Barry Bonds top Hank Aaron's 755 home runs.
"I hope it doesn't happen," he said. "It's just the steroids issue and all that stuff. I'd like to see Hank keep the record."
Fifteen pitchers threw batting practice, including Tony Armas Jr., Shawn Chacon and Matt Capps.
Outfielder Andrew McCutchen returned after missing two workouts to a minor stomach ailment.
The workout today begins at 9:50 a.m.Peter Diana, Post-Gazette
Xavier Nady was back in uniform yesterday, but still a bystander.
Click photo for larger image.
Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .