05/01/09 7:15 PM ET
McCann hoping glasses do trick
Braves catcher ditching contacts, looking to avoid Lasik
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
The glasses, which will look like the Oakley sunglasses that many players wear, are expected to arrive within the next couple of days. The All-Star catcher will then test them during a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett.
"I think this will be the solution," McCann said. "I don't want to give any definites, because I've already said a couple of times that it's feeling better and better. These things take time. It's going to take a couple of days to get used to the glasses."
McCann, who is eligible to come off the disabled list for next Friday's series opener in Philadelphia, never even wore glasses while playing in his youth baseball days. While playing in Gwinnett next week, he'll attempt to get used to the feel and the depth perception that they provide.
There is some worry about the possibility that sweat and heat could impair his vision with the glasses. But having experienced more blurriness while using contacts during a two-game rehab assignment with Class A Myrtle Beach earlier this week, he knows this is his last alternative before having to resort to the same Lasik surgical procedure that he underwent after the 2007 season.
During a visit with Dr. Alan Kozarsky on Monday, McCann was prescribed corrective lenses for both eyes. McCann's vision has changed since he underwent Lasik suregery at the age of 23. The procedure also altered the shape of his eyes. Consequently, the low-powered contact lenses he was provided earlier this week proved uncomfortable in the later innings of the games he played with Myrtle Beach on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"The contacts didn't work," McCann said. "They made my eyes too dry. I tried using drops, and it would be fine for a while, but then it would be blurred again. We're going to try the glasses as a last resort."
Actually, the last resort would be the Lasik procedure, but McCann doesn't want to even explore that alternative until after this season concludes.
McCann, who has been selected as an All-Star in each of his first three seasons, has always been an optimist. But while not gaining a solution to this problem with the use of eye drops, antibiotics and multiple different contact lenses, he admits that his patience has been tested.
"This has probably been one of the most frustrating things that I've had to go through in a long time," McCann said.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.