Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to chat all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Bell is a physical therapist who is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist as well as being a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She is a clinician, author and teacher with extensive experience in sports medicine. An avid fantasy player, Bell spent time at Rotowire.com and on XM Radio's fantasy sports show before joining ESPN.
Bell earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Master's in physical therapy from the University of Miami. A native of San Francisco, Bell roots shamelessly for the 49ers and Giants.
Send your questions now and join Bell Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
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Stephania Bell (1:01 PM)
Good afternoon - and welcome to the chat. Great to see so many of you already here, number of questions. And, I just have to say, I am totally into this World Cup. Loving all the coverage, can't wiat for Team USA today...
What is the most likely timeline on Wacha's return from this injury?
Stephania Bell (1:04 PM)
Jason: Don't think we can put a timetable on this. Stress reactions behave so differently but it's a good sign that they felt they saw evidence of healing. Depending on down time will need to rebuild some strength, prob looking at minumum 6 weeks.
Hi Stephania, two injured guys with niners Lattimore and Crabtree - are both 100% back by the start of training camp to preinjury status or how much longer for either
Stephania Bell (1:06 PM)
PJ: Crabtree I believe will be much better a year removed from his injury; athletes post-Achilles will often say that is how they feel and their performance reflects it. As for Lattimore, believe the healing aspect is complete but it's really how does he function. He has been fully cleared for activity but of course there hasn't been contact yet and it remains to be seen how he responds to the speed of the game.
Hey Stephania - My wife is an OT so I usually print your chats for her to read b/c she enjoys the clinical aspect of your comments. In any event, what can you tell us about Wacha's shoulder injury? I know it's not his rotator cuff but how severe is this injury in the short and long-term? Thanks for all your awesome hard work!
Stephania Bell (1:09 PM)
Matt: Appreciate the comment (and your wife for reading). Just a follow-up on Wacha. There isn't much precedent, at least not that we know of. Brandon MCCarthy has dealt with this injury on a recurring basis. Most stress injuries occur in weightbearing bones, unusual for it to be in shoulderblade. But the muscular demands of a pitcher are also unusual. The main thing is allowing enough time for the bone to adequately heal so does not progress to fracture but it may be something that Wacha has to be on the lookout for going forward.
Nate [via mobile]
Worried about Clint dempsey's nose today?
Stephania Bell (1:11 PM)
Nate: Nah..he already proved he can play fairly effectively without a mask, even taking a little contact to the face - which obviously didn't feel good - but not particulary worried.
Patrick ( minneapolis ) [via mobile]
Will platelet enriched plasma be widely used in all sports?
Stephania Bell (1:14 PM)
Patrick: Think it's already seeing a fair amount of application for certain conditions (soft tissue injuries, ligament/tendon esp elbow, hamstring) across multiple sports. There is still plenty of debate in the sports medicine world as to how effective it is, what is the proper administration (i.e. how many injections, when/where, particular mix of platelets, etc) to get optimum results but we're starting to see more published data to help evaluate some of those things. Truly believe that biologic therapies like this will ultimately become predominant form of treatment acutely.
Nick (Chicago, IL)
Do you see Hanley Ramirez getting past his calf injury this week?
Stephania Bell (1:16 PM)
Nick: Given that this is not the first episode this year and given how nagging these can be, I would not be surprised if he ends up being sent to DL and they postpone his return until post-ASB. Get a few extra days of him being off with the break, have to think of the balance of the season. Of course, it's hard to tell just how serious this "tightness" is from a distance and if he's substantially better within a few days, then they'll allow him to return. But based on how these types of things often behave, if there are any lingering symptoms I'd expect him to head to DL.
Brandon (Simi Valley, CA)
What can we expect from HanRam moving forward? He did pinch hit last night so can we assume he's not DL bound?
Stephania Bell (1:19 PM)
Brandon: Yes, he did pinch hit, which should lower the DL expectation. I can't help but think though that he hasn't been tested (since he drew a walk, I believe) and if the leg is tweaked at all then they have the cushion to go to DL through the break.
Will Cargo's finger injury have any lingering effects when he returns?Will the extra rest help him regain his allstar form since he was dealing with knee tendinitis?
Stephania Bell (1:23 PM)
Alex: I'm not sure what to expect from CarGo out of the gate. Big picture, getting rid of this growth has to be helpful because it should eliminate the source of the irritation in his finger. Short term, it sounded like a fairly deep growth and it may take the soft tissue a while to just feel "normal" to him, translating perhaps to feeling "normal" swinging the bat. Of course, one of the things about CarGo is that even with this finger injury and the one he had on the other hand last year, when it wasn't acutely bothering him he could swing the bat very well and hit effectively. All in all, would lean towards thinking there might be a little adjustment, but not long-lived and we should see the power back soon without the concern about it fading again. ANd yes, the rest should only have helped the knee.
What do think the chances are of Joel Embiid having a relatively healthy career? Foot problems for big men scare me. Should I be concerned?
Stephania Bell (1:27 PM)
Brint: I'm concerned too. Navicular stress fracture is far from a minimal injury. Now presuming they caught it early (sounds like they did) and presuming it heals well (hardware implanted during surgery should help facilitate that), he should be able to make a full recovery. Doesn't mean he might not develop problems with the foot down the road, arthritis, for instance. But that could be well into the future. The bigger, overarching concern is the fact he had two stress injuries so close together. Concern about overall bone health/nutrition. He didn't start playing hoops until a few years ago. The sudden ramp-up in pounding, jumping, etc may be a contributing factor, hard to say for sure. But as a team, if I drafted him, I'd be looking very closely at all of these things and trying to proactively engage in preventing future similar problems.
Stephania, how is your own recovery going? Are you sticking to the prescribed exercises? I hear it is important to listen to your PT.Also, should we expect anything to linger with Harper's repaired thumb, or was his performance in the minor league games this past week an indicator that he is fully healthy again?
Stephania Bell (1:30 PM)
KS: Why, thank you! I am doing much better...but not back to running yet. Need to get a little more strength in that leg. I am sticking to the program, difficult as it is, because ultimately I want to be able to run again...fwiw, getting older is not fun...Harper's still young though, appears to be a good healer. I think his minor league performance told us all we need to know. Once guys recover from UCL repair in the thumb, then once they regain their feel for the grip of the bat, it tends not to be a problem going forward. That's one reason why surgery is the typical recommended option for an athlete.
How concerning is Gattis's bulging thoracic disc? And how long after the epidural will the prognosis emerge?
Stephania Bell (1:34 PM)
Ben: Very. Thoracic discs are typically difficult to treat and slow to resolve. A lot depends on how significant his symptoms are currently (which we don't know). If he does get some relief from the epidural (which typically happens fairly quickly), then that would be a good prognosticator. Surgery in this area is rare unless absolutely necessary because it is exceptionally difficult and there are vital organs to work around, not to mention a rib cage. The concern will be even if his symptoms resolve to the point where he can function, does he still have stiffness (thoracic stiffness would mean decreased rotation, could be a problem for a power swing or hard throwing for defensive plays). Expect it to be more than a 15-day DL unless this is a very minor episode...which I don't think it is since an epidural was involved.
Any inside scoop on what's going on with David Wright?
Stephania Bell (1:37 PM)
Joe: No inside scoop. Just seems that he did something to that shoulder on the headfirst slides, despite the reports of no structural damage, there could be some very minor tissue damage which resulted in the inflammation. Knowing Wright, he will press to play through it but the question is does it make him less effective?
Jim (Las Vegas)
Is Trumbo still expected on track to make a return post ASB?
Stephania Bell (1:41 PM)
Jim: As far as I know, that is still the plan. The team has been very gradually increasing his activity (as in increasing the load through his foot) and it will come down to him demonstrating he can play back to back games before they consider bringing him back. It would appear that the timeline right now hints at just post-ASB but it all depends how his foot responds to each new layer of activity.
Jose Altuve has been on a tear lately. Any concerns about his elbow flaring up?
Stephania Bell (1:44 PM)
Ben: Never like to see a guy get hit by a pitch and then develop swelling but it sounds like the team did not expect him to miss any time. Always worth a check before the game tips to see if it held up well overnight but if he's able to keep playing then not worried. Even a day off wouldn't concern me but more than that and you worry just as much about his rhythm being disrupted.
Rudy (Palm Springs, CA)
Hi Stephania! Yu Darvish has experienced some neck issues already this season and the Rangers are losing games. Do you see the Rangers shutting him down early this season?
Stephania Bell (1:46 PM)
Rudy: Yes, yet he's had some strong performances in the mix. I don't see the Rangers shutting him down unless the symptoms progress to the point where they are consistently worsening and there is concern about him either making the injury worse or doing something to his shoulder.
Mandi (Indiana) [via mobile]
Thoughts on Cespedes? Think he misses just a few days or more? Thanks! Always enjoy the FF Podcasts!
Stephania Bell (1:49 PM)
Mandi: Thank you! ALways hard to predict these hamstring ailments, esp when it is a recurrent issue. It's hard to tell just how severe this was, meaning did he come out of the game because he felt something and they're trying to ensure it doesn't get worse (even though it was the 8th) or was it fairly substantial. At this point there's no suggestion that it will be more than a few days.
Any word on Adam Lind?
Stephania Bell (1:51 PM)
Bill: Out today but Bautista in as DH. No word of an injury, sounds like an off day.
Aaron (Goodyear, AZ)
What's the timeline of Carl Crawford returning to the Dodgers?
Stephania Bell (1:56 PM)
Aaron: DOdgers aren't offering one. Crawford still doing pretty limited activities from what I can gather and nothing that sounds like anything close to playing in games. Hard to imagine they make an effort to return him before ASB.
While we are talking catchers, Derek Norris seems to get banged up all the time. Not sure if he is sitting because of his back or when he hit the back of his head on a swing. This guy is good, but can we rely on him rest of year?
Stephania Bell (1:59 PM)
JJ: From what I can gather, it's the back that's causing him to sit right now although the A's hope to have him back shortly. Back problems tough for a catcher. I'll be interested to see how he looks when he returns but these issues are often recurrent. Can't see predicting he's "safe" for the rest of the year at this point.
How likely is it that great pitchers like Medlen and Harvey come back strong next season? Would you keep either in a 16-team mixed keeper league that keeps 9?
Stephania Bell (2:02 PM)
Jack: Each guy coming off this procedure has unique challenges. And while overall success rate is good, it's not as good as we originally thought when you dig a little deeper into the data. That said, Harvey is young and I would keep him in a keeper league. Medlen however is coming off his second surgery where the success rate is far lower. While I wouldn't write off his chances of coming back, I wouldn't be keeping him in a league either.
Whats up with lawrie and his 3-6 week timetable?
Stephania Bell (2:03 PM)
Chris: Broken finger, estimate it closer to the 6 weeks.
Stephania Bell (2:04 PM)
Time for me to go everyone. Thanks for a great chat today! Appreciate all the awesome questions. Have a great week and go Team USA!!!