At the Sin City Shootout in Las Vegas last January, gay San Diego softball player Mike Petracca was accidentally hit in the back of the head by a baseball bat. He was critically injured and required emergency medical care. He suffered brain damage and has been on the mend since.

When Outsports and others rallied to raise money to cover his medical expenses, the community sprang to action raising over $54k for his medical care and recovery.

Now back home in the San Diego area, Petracca has made some public appearances and is on the mend. He is grateful for the incredible support shown to him from friends and strangers across the LGBT sports community, and he sent this message of thanks to share with our readers:

Thank you everyone for your generosity and care about me, you have never met me or know me personally but you still cared enough to support me in anyway possible during a rough time.

I would like share that today I'm and doing much better, my brain has started to heal and I have no further threat of needing anymore brain surgery. My speech is at about 75 to 80% back to normal. I have already returned to work within one month of the injury. Recently I was featured in Firestorms batting order in a game as the extra hitter. The previous week I was a defensive sub in a game.

I may be getting better physically, but there are still some dark times that cross my mind and challenge me when I try to be "normal" like I felt on January 16, and I struggle that it is no longer an option that I will forever be sort of limited on what I can and can't handle day in and day out. I don't let these limitations run my life and control me, I smile and move on and try to do what I can each day.

Coming in May I will be attending Platt College in San Diego to get my degree in Web Design! Thank you everyone for continuing to care and think about me.

Big thanks to Mike for being such an inspiration in his recovery. We can't wait to see him back out more on the softball field.