Dr. HQ: Utley's power stroke in jeopardy
The Phillies were saying after the game that on a scale of 1-10, this is probably a two or three fracture. They are hoping for a return in about three weeks. Utley underwent surgery Friday morning to insert a pin to support the bone and help facilitate the healing process. The arthroscopic procedure took only 20 minutes. The new estimate from the hand specialist is that he'll miss about four weeks.
Even if he does beat the four weeks, Utley has another hurdle to overcome. Players coming off wrist and hand injuries rarely regain their normal power levels for up to a year after the injury, with the standard guideline being 12 months. Even if he's able to regain his power stroke in less than a year, he sure as heck isn't going to find it in September. All we have to do is look at Derrek Lee as an example to see how a wrist injury, albeit a much more serious one than Utley's condition, causes a player to lose some power for an extended period of time.
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