Bishop Amat High School’s Rio Ruiz may already have played his last game for the Lancers’ baseball team.
The senior infielder who signed a national letter of intent with USC had a procedure done last month to break up a blood clot in a vein near the clavicle in his right shoulder.
Lancers coach Andy Nieto said Ruiz has been at games supporting his teammates who have won eight of nine games in his absence heading into Orange County’s prestigious National Classic this week, where the Lancers hope to defend last year’s title.
But they won’t have Ruiz, who was ESPN’s California Junior of the Year and also is the reigning Tribune Player of the Year and CIF-Southern Section Division 4 Most Valuable Player after leading the Lancers to a division title last season.
Ruiz is taking blood-thinning medication and is expected to continue with the medication for the rest of the season.
Although Ruiz feels healthy enough to play, Nieto doesn’t expect him back anytime soon.
“From what we understand, the doctors are keeping a real tight leash and they should,” Nieto said. “He’s going to be on them (blood-thinners) for a few months, and you don’t want to risk an injury while he’s on them.”
Nieto feels for Ruiz, who is having a difficult time watching.
“The guy (Ruiz) can’t sit still, he’s itching to get in there,” Nieto said. “The good news is that we feel confident he’s going to make a full recovery and be fine the rest of his life.
“But we’re prepared for the worst in terms of him being out the rest of the season. If for some reason six weeks from now the doctors give him the green light, we’ll deal with it. But as a team, we have to move forward and he’s with us, whether or not he’s playing. That’s what kind of teammate he is.”