Gobble finally sidesteps thorny issue

Gobble finds reason for toe trouble

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A month ago, Royals pitcher Jimmy Gobble was playing golf. Approaching a green, he jammed his toe on a small cactus.

His right big toe became infected, his workouts were curtailed for a couple days and manager Trey Hillman christened him "Jimmy Cac-toe."

The thorn supposedly was gone.

"That's what they told me, but if I was standing a lot or put any pressure on it, I could feel it and that's not right," Gobble said.

On Sunday, Gobble probed just under his toe nail and discovered a thorn protruding. He went to athletic trainer Nick Swartz who got tweezers and removed it.

"Now it feels good, all the pressure is gone," Gobble said on Monday. "Maybe all the bad luck is gone, too."

In his first three games, Gobble was nicked for six runs and three were unearned.

He's on antibiotics now to prevent another infection.

"All because of a cactus," he said.

It would have never happened on a golf course in Florida.

"No, it'd be a gator bite," Gobble said. "I'd have been Jimmy Short-a-toe."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.