FORT MYERS, Fla. — Outfielder Ryan Westmoreland, a Rhode Island native once considered the top prospect in the Red Sox organization, ended his comeback from two brain surgeries and announced his retirement Wednesday.
Westmoreland, who will turn 23 next month, underwent surgery in March 2010 to correct an abnormal growth of blood vessels in his brain. He had similar surgery last July.
Westmoreland continued working out at team facilities for several years despite the long odds that he ever would return to a competitive level. He made what was considered remarkable progress after the first surgery, but the second procedure left him unable to play.
“With a clear mind and heart, as well as the unwavering support and friendship of my family, friends, agent[s], doctors, therapists, and the Boston Red Sox, I have decided to voluntarily retire as a professional baseball player,” Westmoreland wrote in an e-mail.
“Although it is a very difficult decision for me, it has become clear that the neurological damage caused by the most recent cavernous malformation and surgery leaves me with physical challenges that make it impossible to play the game at such a high level.
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