Protective headgear for MLB pitchers to be available in 2014

(WJLA) - Major League Baseball pitchers may be allowed to wear protective headgear on the mound as soon as next season, Fox Sports reports.

During an appearance on the Fox Sports "The Buzz" podcast, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy said that hats with special protection could be available and legal to wear by the 2014 season.

"It has been a high priority for them. It's just that there has been very few answers," McCarthy told Fox Sports.

In September of 2012, McCarthy was pitching for the Oakland Athletics when he was hit in the head by a screaming line drive. He suffered skull fractures and a hemorrhage that required hours of surgery to fix.

MLB officials told Fox Sports that the approval of one model of protective cap is an "important first step" toward improved player safety.