Men’s Pro Kim Davenport Suffers Eye Injury

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328aAt the end of October, veteran 9-ball star Kim Davenport was competing in the UPA Atlanta Open, fighting for a spot on the U.S. team for the upcoming Mosconi Cup in London. Today, the 47-year-old Modesto, Calif., pro is fighting for his professional pool player life. Davenport, the 1990 Billiards Digest Player of the Year and a many-times pro tour champion, has only limited vision in his right eye, the result of a freak golf accident at a local driving range on Nov. 16. His chances of regaining full vision in the eye are uncertain.

According to Davenport, an avid golfer who sports a 3 handicap, a lawn mower kicked up a golf ball, which ricocheted off a metal post next to Davenport’s practice tee, and struck him directly in the eye.
“It knocked me right to the ground,” said Davenport. “I didn’t know what happened. I couldn’t see a thing, and I was scared to death. An ambulance came and rushed me to the hospital.”

A CT scan eliminated concern over possible bleeding in the brain, but severe bleeding left Davenport completely blind in the eye for more than a week.

“The doctors don’t know what will happen,” said Davenport, who has regained some of the vision in his eye since the accident. “They don’t think I’ll ever get 100 percent of my vision back, and they’ve discussed a cornea transplant. They won’t really know what the options are until January.”

The setback comes during a period in which Davenport had regained a spot in the men’s top 10 rankings. He’s posted four top-10 finishes in 2002, including the Sands Regency title in June.

“I’ve been playing well,” Davenport said. “But if I never get to play pool again, I’ve had 17 great years. It’s just a bad roll. A nice sunny day that went dark.”

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