Wor­ri­some symptoms were altitude-re­lated; he gets OK to play but isn’t used in loss.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Zach Helfand

Twenty-four white Dodgers uni­forms had been re­moved from hooks, but­toned up and worn out to the field be­fore Thurs­day’s game, all ex­cept for one. The last dan­gled in front of its locker un­touched, pro­long­ing a mys­tery that had be­gun the night be­fore.

Where was Ken­ley Jansen?

The man, and the an­swers, ap­peared in the club­house at 4:20 p.m., af­ter his team­mates had al­ready gone to the field. He checked in with the train­ing staff, met with the me­dia and said the ill­ness that had side­lined him Wed­nes­day was no longer an is­sue. He de­clared, “I’m ready to go tonight.”

Ul­ti­mately, he wasn’t needed. The Dodgers lost the se­ries opener to the St. Louis Car­di­nals, 7-1, their sixth loss in nine games.

The day be­fore, in Wed­nes­day’s 7-6 loss to the Colorado Rock­ies, Jansen had been un­avail­able as four pitch­ers com­bined to blow a two-run lead in the ninth in­ning. Af­ter­ward, the sit­u­a­tion turned strange. A team spokesman said only that Jansen “wasn’t feel­ing well.”

At his postgame news con­fer­ence, Dodgers Manager Mat­tingly grew ag­i­tated. He re­it­er­ated four times that Jansen “just wasn’t avail­able,” or a vari­a­tion thereof.

And Jansen was even more elu­sive. He stood at his locker and whis­pered with a team spokesman, who then de­clared Jansen wasn’t go­ing to an­swer ques­tions.

Then the spec­u­la­tion be­gan. Was Jansen go­ing to be traded? Was it re­lated to his heart prob­lems that re-

quired surgery in 2012? Was he suspended?

By the next af­ter­noon, Jansen and Mat­tingly were will­ing to talk. The ab­sence, they said, was health re­lated, and Jansen has since been cleared.

Mat­tingly said he learned in the fifth in­ning Wed­nes­day that Jansen would be un­avail­able.

About that time, Jansen was re­ceiv­ing in­tra­venous flu­ids, re­lat­ing to what he de­scribed as a se­ries of symptoms that had him wor­ried about his heart. He woke up fa­tigued, he said, and shortly be­fore the game, his blood pres­sure shot up and his head and stom­ach ached.

“In the be­gin­ning, you feel like all that mem­ory, all the stuff that hap­pened to you — ‘Here we go again,’ ” Jansen said.

He added: “The doc­tors just tell you that they don’t want you to throw to­day. It gets you pan­icked a lit­tle bit, but at the same time you feel like you want to go out, but at the same time you just think about, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”

Jansen said the doc­tors were wor­ried about an ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat but later determined the symptoms were altitude-re­lated. Jansen ex­pe­ri­enced sim­i­lar prob­lems in Den­ver in 2012. That year, he had his sec­ond stint on the dis­abled list be­cause of heart prob­lems, and in Oc­to­ber of 2012, he un­der­went a three-hour surgery to re­pair the prob­lem.

Jansen said part of him felt as if he let the team down Wed­nes­day, but, he said, the sea­son is too early to take a risk for one game.

“If the doc­tors tell you no, what can you do?” he said. “You can’t fight them.”

His re­fusal to talk the pre­vi­ous night, he said, was be­cause he pre­ferred to keep his health is­sue pri­vate for the night. Mat­tingly said he wanted to honor Jansen’s re­quest.

“For me, there’s all kinds of rea­sons why you wouldn’t want to talk about some­thing, alarm any­body at 1 o’clock in the morn­ing,” Mat­tingly said.

On Thurs­day, the only cause for alarm was the score. The Car­di­nals used a Justin Turner er­ror to spark a two-run rally in the third in­ning, and then added three more runs against Car­los Frias in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead.

Jansen watched the game from the bullpen — this time with­out con­tro­versy.

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