Butler may have suffered nerve damage Dodgers outfielder plans to have shoulder checked

July 17, 1996|By ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Part of the attempted cure for Brett Butler's throat cancer might ultimately keep him sidelined from baseball for good.

The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, who began the fifth of six scheduled weeks of radiation Butler treatments in Atlanta on Monday, said the surgery doctors performed to remove potentially cancerous lymph nodes from his neck May 21 might have caused nerve damage in his right shoulder.

"I've still got to get it checked for nerve damage," Butler said from his home in Duluth, Ga. "I'm getting a little bit of atrophy in my right shoulder."

As for his overall condition, Butler said he has lost 10 pounds -- dropping to 152 -- and that doctors are pleased with his condition.

"The doctors are a little shocked," Butler said. "They said after five or six days, I'd lose my saliva and after eight or nine days I'd be on a liquid diet. Today is the beginning of the fifth week. I'm still eating -- I can't taste anything -- and I've still got my saliva."

Butler said talking is difficult because of sores that have developed on the back of his tongue. Doctors have told him his sense of taste likely will not return until two weeks after the conclusion of his radiation treatments, the last of which is scheduled for July 30.

Pub Date: 7/18/96

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