Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
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Stephania Bell (12:59 PM)
Happy Friday - and welcome to the chat. Glad you're here.
Brentt ( DC) [via mobile]
Hi Stephania. Always great info on your chats. Julio Jones, second time breaking a bone in the same foot, from what I hear did a fairly new procedure this time, injecting bone marrow from hip into his foot to hopefully heal better, do you see this injury as a problem in the future. We are starting up a dynasty league, I love his game but should I consider taking another wr instead?
Stephania Bell (1:04 PM)
Brentt: Thank you. Yes, procedure is fairly new but Dr. Bob Anderson has done this before (Ahmad Bradshaw had a similar procedure). The effect of stem cells on orthopedic conditions is still being evaluated but for those who are using it, they see it as a no lose option. It's the individual's own stem cells, so there's no introduction from another, no manipulation of the cells, etc. And the folks using this form of treatment believe it is helpful in the overall healing process. As to whether it is influencing tissue regeneration, that is unclear. The best measure so far is Jones' performance in camp which has been outstanding. He would certainly be a candidate for my dynasty league, even if we can't "guarantee" no future issues.
Jeff S. (New Britain)
Hey Stephania, Couple guys I'd like to hear about, Justin Morneau and Wil Myers. I haven't seen any encouraging updates on Myers, do you have any? Also Morneau, is this a min length DL stint, back by the 1st or so?
Stephania Bell (1:07 PM)
Hi Jeff: Myers has started hitting off a tee but this weekend is a big test. He is expected to try regular BO which means increased bat speed, increased torsion through that wrist where he had the stress fracture. How he tolerates that will be a big determining factor in what we could expect going forward (i.e. ready to progress to rehab assignment perhaps and then back in a couple weeks?) Morneau back now which is a good sign but given his history of neck problems in the past and the recent flare-up, could be something that recurs.
Was the ankle the problem with CJ Wilson in his last month before he went on DL or has he just lost his control? Will he get his stuff back to be top 40 ROS?
Stephania Bell (1:10 PM)
Joe: Good question and the answer not clear. Certainly other pitchers have tried to return to the mound with what was considered a relatively minor ankle problem but the slight alteration to their stability/balance is enough to throw their command off significantly. I will say the Angels rehab staff is very thorough and has no doubt looked closely at how that kinetic chain (including his hip) impacted Wilson before allowing him to return. Expect we see the performance improve.
Will we see David Wilson play football ever again? After his 2nd burner, I don't see him risking it again.
Stephania Bell (1:12 PM)
Matt: It was certainly a scary episode, imagine it has to be particularly scary for him. He's going through evaluation - and much conversation I'm sure - with his surgeon in New York and even if there isn't an obvious disqualifier for him, all the pros and cons, risks, etc will be discussed. Even if his fusion remains solid, nerve symptoms between the neck and the shoulder are correlative to a degree. It certainly doesn't sound encouraging but no definitive word on his status yet.
Is CJ Spiller healthy?!
Stephania Bell (1:15 PM)
Mike: He was when I saw him! He actually spent quite a bit of time talking with me about his ankle, acknowledging he tried to play through something that was not going to be 100% during the season. The problem was sometimes he'd feel good going into the game but then when he would try to make a sharp cut, the ankle would give, there would be no power and he couldn't run like himself. The offseason rest helped tremendously and Spiller told me he knew for sure during May OTAs that it was behind him when he made the same type of sharp cut and was able to power off that ankle. So, right now, today, he is healthy.
Hi Stephania.. I just heard you on Fantasy Radio on XM... great spot!Help me get a bead on Gronk.... could he REALLY be able to return for week one and be effective?.... he JUST tore his ACL 8 months ago and last I checked, he's not Adrian Peterson.
Stephania Bell (1:18 PM)
TK: Thank you. Yes, it appears he could be ready for Week One. Despite his multiple injuries, I have always heard about how much he has impressed with his rehab efforts and that physically he is beyond what most would expect. Imagine that has come into play here too. My bigger concern remains just how healthy can he STAY, not necessarily because of the ACL but does he incur another contact injury? Tweak a hamstring once he gets back because he pushes too hard out of the gate? The risk is there but the reward may be worth it.
Mark Shell (Camp Hill, PA)
Is Reggie Wayne fully healthy coming off his ACL tear?
Stephania Bell (1:20 PM)
Mark: Let's say he's where he should be at this point...and maybe a bit ahead. The rehab staff needs to try to hold him back because he pushes himself so hard and he looks so good doing it that everyone has to be cautious he doesn't overdo it. Certainly on track for Week 1. Having just seen him in camp, I have to say he looks amazing. You would have no idea he was coming off this surgery.
Are you avoiding Steven Jackson in drafts this year? He can't seem to get that hammy right...
Stephania Bell (1:22 PM)
Graham: Really comes down to value. I'm definitely not reaching. This has been a recurrent theme for him; some type of soft tissue injury ends up impacting him and limiting him for a period of time. The variance is in the severity and just how MUCH of an impact the injury has. I think of him as an RB 2, lower half of round for me.
Any update on Tulo?
Stephania Bell (1:26 PM)
Chris: All we know is that he visited his surgeon (the one who performed the core muscle repair on his right groin a couple years ago). It sounds like there is no official timetable for his return so we' re just watching and waiting...but it sounds at this point like it's going to extend beyond the minimal DL time.
Can you provide an opinion on Matt Cain??
Stephania Bell (1:29 PM)
Sam: Well, he had his visit with Dr. Andrews and it sounds like they do not believe there is a problem with his UCL (the TJ ligament). However, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea, Dr. Andrews did make a recommendation related to loose bodies in Cain's elbow. Typically those are removed at some point but whether that's something Cain would do now or try to continue to pitch through is unclear. And it sounds like he and the team are still evaluating the options.
Any idea on how long Ryan Zimmerman will miss?
Stephania Bell (1:30 PM)
Mike: Not yet. The team has not disclosed the severity of Zimmerman's hamstring strain but a report on MLB.com cites a source as saying it's Grade 3 or complete, which would threaten the remainder of his season. The fact they acquired Asdrubal Cabrera confirms they're not expecting much soon, if at all this season.
status of AJ Pollock and his return?
Stephania Bell (1:32 PM)
Heather: Have not seen/heard how his initial rehab game went so hard to say how much time he'll need. The fact they let him progress to that indicates they're satisfied with the healing progression of the bone, now it's just a matter of how comfortable he is gripping and swinging the bat. Highly variable with these fractures but likely a week minimum.
Need Pitching Help (SF)
How are Cashner and Wacha looking?
Stephania Bell (1:36 PM)
Wacha could start a throwing program as soon as next week if the next MRI looks good. The team has already indicated he won't return before early September (based on the 60-day DL move). If he progresses to throwing soon though that will tell us the MRI showed continued progress with the bone healing in his shoulderblade. Cashner seems to have tolerated bullpens OK, next comes a rehab assignment. Sounds like if all goes well he could be back in a couple weeks but he still makes me nervous given the shoulder/elbow issues so close together.
Could V-Marts back pain still be an issue? He hasn't been the same since returning despite the fact he's playing everyday
Stephania Bell (1:37 PM)
Jay: He won't admit it if it is. It's hard to imagine that it completely dissipated but apparently it's better enough for him to be playing. But if he still feels even a little tightness or stiffness that would be enough to impact his performance, so it's a reasonable conclusion.
Is Masterson healed enough to pitch well enough for the Cards?
Stephania Bell (1:42 PM)
Ethan: Part of the problem in trying to evaluate this is that we haven't had great information as to what is behind the knee issues that sidelined him recently. Masterson reportedly had "inflammation" in his knee but that has to come from somewhere. In order to determine whether a guy has "healed," it helps to know what it is he's healing from. Sounds like he's set to make his debut with the team soon but we don't know what day it will be. And I'd be interested to see how he looked in that outing before counting on the issues being behind him.
Starling Marte (Pittsburg)
Do I return after my 4 game rehab?
Stephania Bell (1:44 PM)
You ought to know that you tried to do a little too much too soon the last time. No guarantees that it's just 4 rehab games. Concussion issues are tricky.
How concerned are you about A. Foster already missing practices?
Stephania Bell (1:46 PM)
Dave: Not terribly. I will say that with back/hamstring issues often being related and Foster having a history of hamstring problems, I don't like so much that he's dealing with a hammy this early. BUT, it could be more of a pre-emptive strike here. Hammy could be feeling a little tight, as is often the case in early camp, so given his history they hold him back a bit. Want to see how things unfold over next 7-10 days but I'm not overly concerned yet.
Pat (NY )
How has no one asked about Edwin Encarnacion ?
Stephania Bell (1:50 PM)
Pat: They have...but just now getting to him (and you and John and the others who asked). Not clear what exactly the setback was but even if it was relatively insignificant it will slow down the Jays' plans to bring him back. Imagine there will be a rehab assignment involved here to test the leg situationally. Wouldn't get excited about him coming back before middle of next week at least.
Looks like Cliff Lee is dealing with the same injury that caused him to miss a few months already. I'm sure he's out for the rest of this year, but what about next season? Any chance he'll need the dreaded "TJ" surgery? Please give us Phillies fans some hope!
Stephania Bell (1:52 PM)
Patrick: Too soon to say. They're calling it a recurrence of a flexor strain but of course that muscle group reinforces the medial elbow and helps protect the ligament. More info to come after he meets with team doc but the door appears to be closing on this season, especially given the ramifications of protecting his overall arm health.
Successfully passed the NPTE this week!! Anytime you need a day off, I'm your guy! Football question: Cowboys defense keeps getting hit by injuries and Linehan offense looks like it's going to be exciting, what are the chances Romo end up being a top 5 QB? Would you rather get Romo sometime after the 6th round or RG3/Stafford in round 3 or 4?
Stephania Bell (1:56 PM)
Eric: Congratulations! Welcome to the PT family. Cowboys are taking big hits on defense and there was already apprehension on that front before the injuries to Lee and Lawrence. I wouldn't pay for Romo as a Top 5, all things considered. But he has consistently been a decent fantasy performer, even when he was getting routinely hit last year. I'm not taking Stafford or RG3 in round 3 or 4 though. I'm waiting on QB unless I get Brees or Manning.
James (Gainesville, FL)
Any update on Springer?
Stephania Bell (1:58 PM)
James: Sounds like things are moving along but like the hamstrings, quad strains often take longer than originally expected. He's eligible to return 8/4 but I'm not convinced that will be the magic day. If his progress continues well, could be later that week though.
Stephania Bell (1:59 PM)
Time for me to run folks. Thanks so much for joining the chat today. Really appreciate you stopping by and all the great questions. Be sure to check out our mock drafts taking place on Monday. PRactice makes perfect...or close to it.Have a great weekend!