Former Phillie Daulton recovering from brain surgery
Catcher to undergo speech, radiation treatments after tumors removed
PHILADELPHIA -- Former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton successfully had two brain tumors removed Monday, according to Dr. Kevin Judy, who performed the operation.
"The surgery went well," said Judy, who executed the procedure at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "Darren is awake in the ICU and talking to his family."
The news of Daulton's ailment and surgery hit last Thursday, and it surprised and saddened the Phillies organization and fans. Daulton, who is still beloved in Philadelphia, spent parts of 14 seasons with the Phillies and was the leader of the 1993 team that captured the National League pennant.
Judy said he fully removed both tumors and that Daulton was sedated but awake for the operation. This was so doctors could talk to Daulton and do "language mapping" to avoid any damage to his speech functions.
The next step for Daulton, 51, is therapy, which will include both speech and radiation treatments.
Daulton's inability to fully express himself lately is what Judy said brought him to get examined in the first place. Judy noted he thought Daulton was fine physically, and his main uncertainty of the recovery process for the 14-year Major Leaguer will be speaking ability.
"Strength is not a concern," Judy said. "The concern is his language function. The problems he had been having brought this to attention, and we'll have to see how that evolves."
Judy did say Daulton was in good spirits after the surgery and even talked about the Phillies in a conversation he had with his oldest son. The procedure started early Monday morning and lasted a total of about seven hours. Judy said the recovery process from the surgery should be about three to four weeks, but he expects Daulton to be released from the hospital later this week.
In addition to his speech therapy, Judy said Daulton will also have radiation treatment, because the tumor was a glioma -- a type of tumor that forms in the brain. Judy added gliomas are graded on a I-IV scale, and while doctors did not yet know the grade of Daulton's, he said it was common for someone older than 40 with gliomas to undergo radiation therapy.
Larry Shenk, Phillies vice president of alumni relations, also addressed reporters Monday. He said Daulton -- who may be better known to Phillies fans as just "Dutch" -- has been overwhelmed with love and affection since the news spread last week.
"When he knew he was going to have this surgery, he said, 'Fight on, right on,'" Shenk said. "That's Darren Daulton."
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.