VERO BEACH, Fla. — When asked about his celebrated patient, who had just been cleared of heart trouble, Dodger internist Dr. Michael Mellman could not help himself.
"This," he said, pointing to a smiling Kal Daniels Saturday morning, "is an excellent physical specimen."
Officals confirmed earlier reports that Friday's tests in a Atlanta clinic showed no problems with his heart. The outfielder, weary from driving all night to camp from his home in Warner Robins, Ga., will participate in his first workout today after a promise that he will be ready to play left field opening day.
"I'll be ready--everyone has to be ready regardless, don't they?" Daniels asked. "I'm relieved and happy that they didn't find anything wrong, and now I can go out and do the one thing I love the most--play ball."
Officials confirmed tests showed he had an overdeveloped heart, and said that is normal in well-conditioned athletes. Daniels will require neither medication nor monitoring.
". . . This is a case of . . . the heart muscle going through changes like the muscles in the arms go through changes with exercise and conditioning," Mellman said.
An irregular heartbeat had been discovered during Daniels' treadmill test Monday in Los Angeles, prompting the tests in Atlanta.
He is trying to come back from last year's two knee surgeries.
"He deserves to have some good things happen to him," said Fred Claire, Dodger vice president. "And I think they will."
Said Daniels: "It got to the point where I was thinking, if it's not one thing, it's another. I'm ready to get on with the season."