PHILADELPHIA -- Marcus Giles is heading back to Atlanta on Sunday to undergo a cardiovascular evaluation. Until he gets there, the second baseman will feel the anxiety created on Saturday, when a Philadelphia physician informed him that he may need to undergo what he believes will be a minor surgical procedure.
After team trainer Jeff Porter sent him to Philadelphia Methodist Hospital on Saturday morning, Giles underwent a number of tests. He said he was told that he a valve in his heart may not be operating properly.
When he returned to the clubhouse after Saturday night's game, Giles explained that this specific valve is used to prevent blood clots and other foreign substances from entering the heart. He was told that his may not have closed, as it usually does shortly after birth.
"It's a great thing to discover it," Giles said. "The main thing is getting it taken care of right away."
After leaving the hospital, Giles came away with the understanding that not treating the condition would increase his chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
Giles will be evaluated by team physician Dr. John Cantwell on Monday in Atlanta. He understands there's a chance he'll need to undergo a procedure in which a staple is used to close the valve. The staple would be inserted through an artery in his groin area.
From what he's been told, it's a common procedure that may keep him out of action for a week.
While trying to swallow a soft drink early Saturday morning, Giles felt some discomfort that he described as "a rock going down [my throat]." Once it worked its way into his chest cavity, the pain brought him to his knees. A short time later, he arrived at Citizens Bank Park, where Porter evaluated him and sent him to the hospital.
"The pain was one thing," Giles said. "Being scared was another thing."
According to Brad Hainje, the Braves' director of media relations, because this isn't a baseball-related injury, the Players Association prohibits the Braves from commenting on the matter.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.