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March 31, 2009 4:15 PM

What Exactly is Wrong With Dontrelle Willis?

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On Sunday, the Detroit Tigers put pitcher Dontrelle Willis on the 15-day disabled list with an anxiety disorder, saying "[they] didn't like what they saw in [his] blood." Willis has struggled the past two seasons, and appeared in just eight games in 2008, making seven starts, with a 9.38 ERA. The move to the DL came despite the fact Willis said "he has been feeling well on and off the mound." General manager Dave Dombrowski wouldn't give details because of privacy regulations.

One problem: you can't diagnose anxiety through blood work. Let the questioning begin.

"I can't speak of the specific situation, but to the best of my knowledge, you cannot diagnose an anxiety disorder by a blood test," said Hiten Patel, a psychiatrist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. "Most psychiatric conditions cannot be diagnosed by blood tests, and anxiety disorder cannot be diagnosed in such a way."

Agreeing was Taft Parsons, medical director of the Kingswood Hospital, the in-patient psychiatric facility at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

"There's no anxiety disorder, no psychiatric disorders, which are diagnosed by blood tests," said Parsons, who explained that anxiety might be a symptom of a medical situation identified by blood work, such as a thyroid condition. "But (anxiety) would not be the disorder itself. Only a symptom."

So, Willis loses the ability to throw strikes, the Tigers' doctors do some blood work and determine he has anxiety disorder, only then other doctors (ones not employed by the Tigers) go on record saying that anxiety can't be diagnosed that way. Whatever could be going on in the Motor City?
The Tigers owe Willis $22 million through the 2010 season. But if he were to spend the bulk of this season or 2010 on the DL, insurance policies that are routine for highly paid players would likely be responsible for as much as 50 percent of his compensation.
Ah yes, of course. If the anxiety disorder doesn't stick, may I suggest taking x-rays to determine Uromysitisis poisoning?

H/T: FanHouse

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