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03/27/08 11:40 PM ET

Update on Gomez is encouraging

Special assistant to GM resting comfortably in Palm Springs

ANAHEIM -- The latest update on Preston Gomez, injured on Wednesday morning after he was struck by a pickup truck in Blythe, Calif., was encouraging, team spokesman Tim Mead reported on Thursday night as the Angels were playing the Dodgers at Angel Stadium.

From family at his bedside at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs came word that Gomez, 86, continues to rest comfortably and that a magnetic resonance imaging taken earlier in the day showed no brain damage.

Gomez, special assistant to Angels general manager Tony Reagins and longtime confidant of manager Mike Scioscia, opened his eyes during the day and was recognizing family members. He received two bags of blood and his color was good, according to a family member.

Doctors, the family member said, were hopeful that a machine used to assist his breathing won't be necessary on Friday and that he'll be able to breathe on his own.

Gomez was returning home from Arizona with his wife, Betty, on Wednesday morning when he was struck at daybreak at a Chevron station after fueling and stretching his legs. He struck the ground with his head after impact, and his condition was described as extremely critical when he reached Desert Regional Medical Center via helicopter from a local hospital in Blythe.

"The news today is encouraging," Scioscia said before Thursday's game. "We're all pulling and praying for Preston. He's a great man, a real fighter."

The first manager of the Padres in 1969, where he remained until 1972, Gomez also managed the Astros in 1974 and 1975 and the Cubs in 1980.

A native of Central Preston, Oriente, Cuba, Gomez has been one of the most admired and respected gentlemen in the game for more than 60 years, the last 27 with the Angels as a Major League coach and then in his current role.

According to family members, Preston is 86, not 84 as originally reported.

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