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Luis Ayala is a Funny Guy

So reliever Luis Ayala, who, as you all know, was shot in a hunting accident over the winter, reached into his locker this afternoon and pulled out an orange neon cap with a picture of a deer and the words "Deer Camp" on it, then placed it on his head, drawing laughs from all around the Nationals' clubhouse.

It may seem funny now, but it certainly did not on Dec. 26, when Ayala was fishing with some buddies in his native Mexico, when he was hit in the left shoulder by a shotgun pellet from an unidentified bird hunter. Doctors concluded it was better to leave the pellet in his shoulder than to operate, so there it remains. But the pellet damaged a nerve, because Ayala -- who has been seeing doctors once a week since it occurred -- felt intense pain and numbness in his fingers, he said, for two weeks after the incident. There remains some lingering numbness in his fingers, but he said it is slowly disappearing.

And in any case, it being his non-throwing hand, it is not enough to keep him sidelined. He threw an eight-minute bullpen session Thursday and said he has no limitations.

And if you're keeping score at home, that's three posts today. Thanks for the nice comments in previous posts. That'll do it for today.

Soundtrack: The National, "Boxer."

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 21, 2008; 4:43 PM ET
 
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