The 2-year-old son of Colorado reliever John Axford remains hospitalized but his condition is improving eight days after he was bitten twice in the foot by a rattlesnake.
"It's looking better," Axford said. "We're going by doctors' orders. They know more than we do. We're going to trust them to heal him the best way possible."
The 32-year-old pitcher who spent last season with Cleveland and Pittsburgh said he and his wife, Nicole, think Jameson Axford stepped on a baby rattlesnake in the backyard of the home the family is renting in Scottsdale, Ariz., during spring training.
The boy was rushed to the hospital, where his already swollen right foot started blistering and turning black in spots.
"Things got very bad, very quickly," Axford said. "It looked like a fairly normal snakebite. But things took a turn for the worse.
"There was a lot of pain. A lot of screaming."
Doctors feared they might have to amputate the foot due to necrosis and scrubbed off dead tissue every morning until Tuesday, when they felt Jameson had improved enough to stop the process. According to Axford, the foot has been saved, although a toe may still have to be amputated.
The six-year veteran hasn't pitched in a game since the accident March 25, but returned for a bullpen session Tuesday while his son rested. He's scheduled to pitch in Colorado's final exhibition game Saturday, although Axford said everything depends on his son's condition.
"The last thing I want to do is think about baseball," Axford said. "We're not sure what is happening. We're trying to take things step by step."
He added: "We can't do anything, except give him hugs and kisses — and pancakes sometimes."