Nicasio, 24, was drilled in the right side of the head when Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond led off the second inning with a liner back at him. Nicasio crumpled to the ground and landed on his head. The force of the landing broke the C-1 vertebrae in the back of his neck.

Nicasio was strapped to a stretcher, carted off the field and taken to a local hospital. After undergoing surgery, Nicasio will remain hospitalized indefinitely as he recovers.

Nicasio was moving his extremities as he lay flat on his back on the mound before being taken off the field. Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said Nicasio was speaking to medical personnel.