Royals Manager Ned Yost talks publicly for first time since accident that could have killed him

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals Manager Ned Yost is back in Kansas City for Royals FanFest and spoke Friday for the first time since he was involved in an accident this past fall that could have killed him.  FOX4 streamed his interview Friday afternoon on our website and Facebook page. Watch in the video player above.

Yost, 63, has spent the past few weeks recovering after shattering his pelvis in a horrific fall from a tree while working at his property in Atlanta.

One of the first things he told reporters on Friday was that he still has a long road ahead until he makes a full recovery. Despite this, he said his recovery is coming quicker than expected.

“[Doctors] said somewhere between 9 months and 12 months, but I’m still supposed to be in a wheelchair right now too, so I’m way ahead of schedule. Feeling really good. Moving good,” Yost said.

He said he’s been active on his farm, driving tractors and cutting wood, which does leave him with some soreness.

Yost said for the first 2 months, he dealt with excruciating pain trying to do simple things, like sitting up straight in a chair.

He credited his active lifestyle and commitment to physical fitness before his accident with speeding up his recovery.

He told reporters in a conference call in November that he was working on a tree stand when he fell about 20 feet to the ground.

Yost said the fall caused a “massive fracture” and also broke four of his ribs. He said there was no one else around at the time, but he had his phone with him and was able to call for help. That likely saved his life, he later learned.

“I had my phone in my pocket which was key to this whole thing,” Yost said during that call, “and being in a spot on my farm that had service was key.”

After arriving at the hospital, Yost learned that the injury could have actually killed him.

“After the surgery is when the trauma doctor came in and … said, ‘look you guys don’t know how lucky you are,’” Yost said. “They couldn’t get the bleeding to stop.”

Yost was told that that kind of injury carries a 25 to 30 percent mortality rate. “I would have died right there probably in a couple hours,” he added.

FUTURE OF THE ROYALS

With the outlook on his health looking good, Yost talked about moving forward with the team and the changes that took place in the offseason — notably, the loss of Lorenzo Cain. Cain signed a 5-year, $80 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.

“I think Dayton and I, you know, our goal is to have these kids come out and be successful and provide a great living for their family and to have success like that, so I’m very happy for him. I’m very proud for him,” Yost said. “Do we want him here? Absolutely, but for him to get a contract like that, I’m extremely pleased and happy, proud for him.”

He said he’s especially excited to see the young guys the team has brought on board.

“I’m excited to see Jorge Soler. You know, he’s worked so hard this winter. I’m excited to see him. I’m excited to see what Cuthbert can do with a full opportunity. I’m excited to see Boni play. I’m excited to see Bubba Starling come into Spring Training and see what he can do now that there’s an opening there.”