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 3 p.m. ET!
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Stephania Bell (12:59 PM)
Happy Tuesday - and welcome to the chat. Thanks for joining me. Let's get to your questions.
Billy (Staten Island) [via mobile]
What's up with Jamaal Charles' bruised foot? Is that something to worry about?
Stephania Bell (1:01 PM)
Billy: Doesn't seem the Chiefs are overly concnered. Almost like they dodged a bullet. He didn't play last week in the hopes that he will be ready to participate in this week's preseason game. If he doesn't, then I'll be more concerned but if he does and he looks OK, then I'm not too worried.
Anthony (Walnut Creek, CA)
Hi Stephania,I made a trade for LeSean McCoy a couple of days ago. Then I learned yesterday he has been diagnosed with "minor turf toe" . Can you please explain how this injury might affect McCoy's performance this year? Is it anything to be concerned about?
Stephania Bell (1:04 PM)
Anthony: Never like to see the diagnosis of turf toe anywhere near a RB b/c so much depends on their ability to push off through that toe. His case was supposedly minor - and there are widely differing degrees of severity with this injury - but I will be watching closely over the next week or so to see how he looks. On the plus side, he returned to practice Monday and the team plays Thurs vs Steelers. But the hope is that it doesn't get aggravated at some point during the season. No way to anticipate that.
Alex (Cleveland, OH)
Do you think RGIII limping last night on MNF is any cause for concern?
Stephania Bell (1:06 PM)
Alex: I think the bigger cause for concern is his poor sliding! If you saw my tweets last night, I talked about my bigger worries for that knee having to do with not getting to the ground properly and efficiently. (Of course the other hits he took earlier before running out of bounds not wise either, given he sustained a concussion in a similar manner once before). I do think he needs to get comfortable sliding, a la Joe Flacco, to better protect himself or his season will be shortened. As for the limp, supposedly a quad bruise. Not great but not terrible. Maybe a reminder to him that he will need to avoid the contact.
Hi Stephy Bad News! Care to give me some good news on Reggie Wayne and what your expectations are for him this season?
Stephania Bell (1:10 PM)
Dan: I think I can. This guy looks as good as anyone - of any age - coming off ACL surgery. He's in remarkable shape. Needed to remind myself when I saw him which leg was the surgical one because it was that hard to tell. There are still more tests for him including playing in real games but everything about what he's done so far tells me he'll be plenty ready. I think Hakeem Nicks is the stretch the field guy but I expect Wayne to continue to be a relief outlet for Luck.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Stephania, I see that Garrit Cole is scheduled to come off the DL tomorrow night and start. Should I be concerned about possibly starting him in my fantasy matchup tomorrow? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (1:13 PM)
Al: We talked about him on the podcast today if you want more detailed info. But the consensus was not to worry about starting him right away, given the extended rehab outings he has had and the very steady way in which he has ramped up his throwing.
Matthew (Syracuse, NY)
Ding -David Wilson wants to restart his track career. Does his neck injury only limit his ability to take contact?
Stephania Bell (1:17 PM)
Matthew: That is the primary concern, yes, is contact. That's how he suffered the burner injury. But the fusion is solid (which is why he was cleared to return in the first place). So track seems reasonable. I think he said he was national high school champion in the triple-jump.
What's the word on Machado's return? Keep up the great work!
Stephania Bell (1:18 PM)
Paul: Sounds like Manny can't really tell much difference in his knee...but then again, he hasn't really tested it. Just doing the rehab program and probably won't know more until he gets to the higher level running and baseball activity. Pretty much the one day at a time approach for him right now...
Matt (Ontario, Canada)
Any concerns with Aaron Rodgers's health this year? Or should we consider him 100% (or as close to 100% as you get in the NFL)?
Stephania Bell (1:18 PM)
Johnny (Cincinatti) [via mobile]
Are you worried at all about Arian Foster not being able to make it through the year?
Stephania Bell (1:21 PM)
Johnny: It's a valid concern simply based on his history over the last few years. But then it's a valid concern for anyone who plays the position. It is tough to be a RB and play all 16 games. At this point, I think those who do are the outliers. Or they're having an outlier year. All that said, I like Foster coming into this season. Think he's done nothing but train since back surgery, my sources close to the situation tell me he is in the best shape of his football career. Now if he even feels a little something-something, he's going to back off of practice and I think that's what we saw in early camp. But I like him better coming into this season than the last 2-3.
Jeff (Los Angeles)
Are there going to be any lingering effects for AP this year? Think he plays well in new system?
Stephania Bell (1:23 PM)
Jeff: Shouldn't be. He's come back from this procedure once before and he's had a lot of time to recover. Plus, he's superhuman as one doc told us one. I do like him in the new system and our Ben Goessling says he's doing well catching passes out of the backfield and looking to take more of that on this season.
How close is AJ Pollock to a return to DBacks?
Stephania Bell (1:27 PM)
David: Good for you. Persistent but polite. I think it's potentially later this week or early next week, presuming no more setbacks. He was hit by a pitch which slowed things down a bit.
I love Danny Amendola when he plays. The problem is he rarely plays and even when he does he's dinged up. Chances I get 6 games out of him this year?
Stephania Bell (1:29 PM)
Dustin: hahaha..I love it. Underpromise to yourself then hope to overdeliver. I know he's in very good shape this season, working hard to do what he can to stay on the field. He knows his history. Unfortunately, no matter what he does he can't change his frame, which is very slight. Some guys are smaller but thick, stout. He's slight. And he's had some big injuries without any contact! Put the two together and it's a bad combo. But I think I'd aim for 8-10 games.
Stephania Bell (1:30 PM)
Btw, for college football fans, this just in: ESPN reporting Ohio St QB Braxton Miller is out for the season after re-injuring his shoulder yesterday, per source.
Mark Shell (Brick House)
Any new details with the Sammy Watkins injury? How long will he be sidelined?
Stephania Bell (1:32 PM)
Mark: Day-to-day is all the Bills are saying. "ribs." Presume he has some pretty substantial rib soreness but don't know anything beyond that.
Thoughts on Gronk starting the first game?
Stephania Bell (1:32 PM)
Jim: Unless something drastic happens between now and then, he starts.
Thoughts on Doug Martin this year? He fell to me in the late 4th round of my draft and I had to take him but not exactly thrilled about it.
Stephania Bell (1:33 PM)
Chris: Late in the 4th? I like that a lot. Shoulder should be fine. Expect better production than what he was able to deliver before getting hurt last season.
Should we have any concerns about inserting Andrew Mccutchen back in a starting lineup, as soon as tonight?
Stephania Bell (1:36 PM)
Bryan: This is really uncharted territory. No one I spoke with who works in baseball medicine had seen this exact injury before. Most guys tear their oblique muscle; he fractured a rib instead. Oddly, it seems to have healed faster. Not necessarily odd in that it's so easy to retear the oblique fibers. But odd in that a fracture just sounds worse. It was clearly very small and they feel he progressed enough to try swinging a bat. And apparently he felt ok swinging that bat if they are allowing him to return. The only thing we don't know is how he will do after repetitive swings on back to back days.
I've always loved Beast Mode (had him the past few years), I mean, the guy's a tank. However, he's got such insane workloads. I picked up Christine Michael (even though it seems like it will be Robert Turbin), but what are Lynch's chances of trucking through another season?
Stephania Bell (1:39 PM)
Noah: Worry about him getting through another season. You're right. Lot of work, a lot of mileage. He's had hints of some problems (back, ankle) but has managed to power through. Just not convinced he gets another entire season.
Any concerns about Montee Ball & his appendectomy for week1?
Stephania Bell (1:39 PM)
Chip: No. And he was back at practice today so another step closer.
For Montee Ball, any concerns for him post-surgery? An increased risk of injury from missing so much training camp (like a holdout pulling a hamstring)?
Stephania Bell (1:40 PM)
Josh: You do bring up a good point. Sometimes the risk of these other unrelated injuries goes up due to the lack of practice then trying to ramp up too quickly. Obviously can't say for sure but expect his activity will be gradually increased to help account for that.
I'm listening to you on the fantasy focus while reading your chat. Weird... Any updates on Springer, Belt or Sanchez?
Stephania Bell (1:44 PM)
Jim: It's the magic of TV/podcasting, being in two places at once. SOmetimes feels like five. Belt headed to Pittsburgh to be further evaluated by their excellent concussion specialists. No timetable here. Sanchez prob out for the rest of the month at least. Bit of an odd injury with the pec strain. Doing PT but may not attempt throwing again before another week or so.
Stephania Bell (1:46 PM)
Oh - and Springer. A bit of a setback in hs recovery from a quad strain makes me think they will proceed with caution. Don't see him back before September but I do think he has the potential (at least right now) to make it back before the year is out. And if he can, he should,regardless of their standings...as long as he is not rushing to get there.
Mike (Long island)
AP or Jamaal Charles #1 overall?
Stephania Bell (1:47 PM)
Mike: AP. I love Charles. But AP is AP for a reason. At some point that may change but for me it's not this year.
Stephania any concern over Michael Floyd?
Stephania Bell (1:49 PM)
Matt: I'd rather not have a WR dealing with a groin strain in the preseason but he has been practicing more days than not. If he participates this weekend then the answer is no, not concerned.
Brees... any concerns for his current injury lingering into the season?
Stephania Bell (1:51 PM)
Mike: Until we see him throwing hard without an issue, there will be a teeny question mark. But the Saints have taken the right approach. Keep him out and take it very slowly with the idea that this is better than risking a setback that will cut into the season. He's back practicing which is encouraging and if he plays this weekend it should put a lot of those concerns to rest.
TC (Boston) [via mobile]
Is there any lingering concern over Julio Jones and his foot injury history or would you draft him with confidence as a #1 receiver? Thx!
Stephania Bell (1:52 PM)
TC: Based on what he's done so far, I'd say draft with confidence. He has looked outstanding since joining practice and told me the foot has felt great on the field.
Candy (Slippery Rock)
Stephania, would you consider Ben Tate an injury prone player and how do you think he will do in Cleveland this year?
Stephania Bell (1:55 PM)
Candy: Don't know if I'd go there with that label yet. Could argue he's also exceptionally tough, choosing to play with broken ribs(!) It's reasonable to wonder if he'll be able to handle the 16-game pounding and I also think his fate is tied to their ability to get anything going in the passing game (last night was not very convincing). Like him, don't love him.
Hey Stephania, do you think Encarnacion will be limited the rest of the year with his quad?
Stephania Bell (1:58 PM)
Keanu: Don't know about limited. Think he's good when he's playing. The question is more about whether the quad will hold up or is he at risk for a setback. There's not enough time left in the season for me to be confident that it won't rear up again. Hopefully for his sake it doesn't but sometimes these can be just below the surface until the right stress comes along.
Nick (Los Angeles)
Concerned Nats fan and Zimmerman owner here! Will R. Zimmerman see the field before the end of the year?
Stephania Bell (1:59 PM)
Nick: Hard to be optimistic given the degree of injury for him. Sorry. :(
Stephania Bell (2:00 PM)
That's it for me, folks. Thanks so much for coming to the chat today. Appreciate the great questions/thoughts. There will be much more throughout the fall. Hope to see you back here next week!! Until then, stay healthy.