Good morning everyone and welcome to the injury chat on this lovely Friday. Always lots of great question so let's get started...
Real quick one... Tulo - Still on track to be activated today? Thanks in advance.
Hi Jeff: Tulo says he's ready but team medical staff and coaches will evaluate him this afternoon before deciding about tonight's game. Sounds like it's a go - but not confirmed.
Stephania, What's the news on Rickie Weeks? He was put on the 15 day DL with a sprained knee on 6/9. Have you heard anything about his return? Thanks!
Hi Chet: here's the problem. All we've heard is "sprained left knee." Without knowing which ligament was sprained, and the degree of injury, it's hard to speculate. Team just hasn't given us much. That would suggest to me that it's of the less serious variety, usually when they seriously sprain a major ligament, a team announces that. He is eligible to come off DL on Sunday, but the team is saying that it is not likely he makes that date, although they don't expect it to be too long afterward.
Hi Stephania, What's your take on Blalock's carpal tunnel recovery and what do you expect out of him when he returns? Thanks!
Hi Brian: Boy, Blalock has had his share of injuries, and they're not minor. The latest is this carpal tunnel surgery and although Blalock said he expected to come back earlier than the month or so doctors projected, it looks like he is still on the original timetable. The fact that Blalock had the thoracic outlet procedure last year (rib removal to relieve nerve/artery compression) makes me think there is a connection to him developing a nerve problem further down the arm on the same side, although without seeing him, hard to say for sure. He is definitely coming back to play first base to decrease the throwing demands on him which should help. And hopefully the hamstring is fully healed now with the additional time off.
Whats the deal with carmona?
Hi Reginald: Carmona, who had been out with a strained hip muscle, apparently had a bit if a setback. He was sore after throwing a simulated game and as a result the team decided to shut him down for 3 days and put his rehab assignment on hold. So that's where he is right now. On hold.
Can Dice K be counted on, health wise for the rest of the season? What's the likelihood that it is a lingering type of injury? Thanks.
Hi Ron: If only we could make such guarantees. I will tell you that he supposedly has been having great rehab outings with good velocity, good command and no discomfort, all things you like to see and it hasn't been that long - suggesting the cuff problem was minor. Right now, no reason to think otherwise, but there's always the potential that the problem returns.
Zambrano news, you have it, we want it...
Algernon: The only news a this point is that he is having an MRI arthrogram today, probably right now. With an arthrogram, dye is injected into the shoulder and the imaging is actually enhanced, which is why they waited the extra day instead of doing a regular MRI. Results supposedly to come out this afternoon. He's not making his next start - that's all that's certain at this point.
Is there any new info on Schilling? Just hearing rumors that surgery is soon and he's done for the year. Thanks and keep up the great work!
Hi Mark: Yes, this is just breaking. He conferred with his orthopedist and the team MD and a decision was made that he will undergo surgery Monday. Apparently he was continuing to have pain that limited him despite the fact that he was getting stronger. He could not throw off a mound. Schilling reportedly said on radio today that he thinks there is a good chance that his career is over. Would not be a surprise.
Liriano coming back soon?
Hi Chris (and all others asking about Liriano): He is pitching well in the minors but apparently is still not reaching his pre-surgery fastball speeds. Sounds like the team does not plan to bring him back until July, either just before or just after All-Star break. I still think he will need some additional time, in the majors, to get back to pre-injury form, either late this season or early next.
Stephania, I was just wondering what your credentials are? Are you a journalist or exercise physiologist? Thanks.
Hi Tom. I am a physical therapist who practices in the area of orthopedics and sports medicine. And I am now working in the journalism field as an injury analyst. Thanks for asking..
Staphania, Thank yo for taking my question. Can you give us your personal prognosis for David Ortiz based upon the information made availabel to the public, along with your opinion as to an expected perfomance level upon his return? Thank you.
Hi Fred: You are so polite. Everything points to the notion that Ortiz should fully recover from his injury without incident. This tearing of the tendon sheath is usually treated non-surgically, and the reason he was immobilized is to allow that tissue to heal itself. The latest word is that he has been allowed to start some range of motion exercises, but he is not yet allowed to get near a bat (which is all appropriate for the timetable). And he should not have lingering problems when he returns.
Stepahania, I know this is more of a general medical question, but from what you have heard, How unbelievable is what Tiger Woods did and what is his prognosis for a full recovery?
Hi Darius: It's ok to ask that kind of question. As everyone has been saying, it is pretty remarkable that Tiger did what he did in the face of so much pain. His doctors are indicating that he can expect a full recovery - and really, we have to go with that. The reconstruction of his ACL will help give him more knee stability, and decrease the shearing on his knee. If there was any meniscus injury, they can address that during the ACL surgery. If he has damage to the cartilage itslef (that covers the end of the bone), then that cannot be repaired. The surface can be smooothed out, but once cartialge breakdown occurs, it is not replaceable. We do not know the extent of cartilage damage in his knee (it has not been reported) so can't speculate on that. He definitely has the fact that he is relatively young and overall extremely fit going for him. Plus he understands rehab and will work hard, also in his favor.
Why are you so SLOOOOWW on these chats? Are you injured?
I am actually Eric. Why don't you come fill in for me??? The point of these chats is to try to get out more detailed medical info related to these injuries - and accurate info as well. So sometimes it takes a bit to translate it onto the screen. Appreciate everyone's patience
Eric Byrnes is supposedly coming off the DL at the beginning of next week, is that actually going to happen?
Keith: Great question. It has sounded for a while now like Byrnes was chomping at the bit, but apparently the team has not had the confidence that he could run full strength without being at risk, All signs point to him going Monday, but if you're in a weekly fantasy league, I would wait until the last minute to be sure as he is still on rehab assignment.
It seems as if Kelvim Escobar is healing miraculously from an arm injury that he originally feared would end his career (torn labrum). What is your take on his return, his effectiveness this year as a reliever, and can he return to being an effective starter next year?
Kyle: I am as amazed as you are. I did not give him much chance of returning b/c typically, conservative rehab for torn labrums does not work well. So far he has defied expectations and is throwing a variety of pitches (simulated game only though). He says he's ready for a rehab assignment, the Angels want to take it a little slower, but they are expressing confidence that he will pitch this year. I still remain a bit skeptical in that there are many hurdles yet to cross before making it back to the mound, but I am hopeful for him that it works. In the end, it will catch up with him at some point, but whether it's this year, or he gets another couple years out of it remains to be seen.
Same question that Kyle asked about Escobar, only about Phil Hughes, please!
Hi Scott: Hughes is apparently going to start a throwing program in about another week. He will then need about 6 weeks before he can rejoin the rotation so you're looking at the middle of August. Now in his case, the rib fracture should be fully healed - and no longer a problem- once he comes back. Not like the labrum for Escobar which will not heal on its own.
Good Morning Stephania! I was wondering what the word on Chris Young is? When is expected to return and what sort of an impact should he make for the rest of the season if he returns and stays healthy? I grabbed him off the wire and threw him into my DL spot. Was this a good move or a waste?
Hi Mike: Lots of Chris Young questions but I don't have much new on him. The latest was that he should return around the All-Star break and there has been nothing lately to suggest thatthe timetable has changed. The initial pause was because they needed the skull fracture to fully heal. Then get him back throwing ahrd. If he has breathing issues they will need to do a nasal surgery that could tack on another couple weeks. But they're hopeful that that can be postponed until the post-season.
We understand that you don't type as fast as Matt Berry, but we appreciate your effort. Just make sure to draft as few 49ers as possible in the upcoming FF season.
OK Justin - but you know I love Frank Gore. No promises.
What are your thought on Carlos Pena? Do you think he'll rebound and have a nice second half?
Hi Barry: Yes, he should. He is scheduled to have another X-ray today and has started taking some swings, playing catch with a tennis ball. They're hoping to have him back around the end of June. Always allow a week or two to get back the stroke after a finger fracture, but ther are no major alarm bells going off here.
Should I take a flyer on church when he comes back? Any word on when that will be?
Keith: I think Church will be fully recovered when he returns this time, especially since he was having lingering symptoms and the team is not going to want to risk bringing him back too soon. I would take a flyer on him. Now, NY Daily News is saying he should return 6/23. Keep in mind that as he is progressed through activity this week, he needs to remain symptom free or the timetable gets pusched back.
Stephania, do you see Rafael Soriano ever being fully healthy this year?
Hi Bob: Not really. The fact that he's been so up and down and there has been no definitive "reason" for it are of concern. It may be that he just really needs extended rest, the kind you get in the offseason. I'm not convinced that even if he is able to get back and pitch that he is able to stay well this year.
What about Zimmerman and Furcal? I'm starting to get worried about both of these guys!
Hi Matt: you should be. Zimmerman is undergoing rehab for about 4-6 weeks to see if he can play through the torn labrum and get it fixed in the offseason. He will be evaluated around the All-Star break to assess his progress. Still a chance that he has surgery how and it ends his season. Furcal's back has been really problematic and the Dodgers are now saying that they do not expect him back before the All-Star Break.
What is the latest on the biggest fantasy contributor in the world: Albert Pujols
Hi James: Well, he won't be contributing until likely after the All-Satar break. Fairly serious calf strain and remember, he strained it last year also. Don't want to risk an even bigger injury to it. He reportedly was fielding some ground balls this week, but the big thing is he will not be able to run for a while.
Should I be worried about Hideki Matsui and his drained knee?
Hi Matt: I don't think too much. Matsui has had trouble with both knees off and on, and had the other knee scoped during last offseason. I expect that this won't be the last problem for him, but at this point it doesn't look like it will keep him from coming back this year and performing well.
Hi Stephania (bella), You see Casilla being as effective as prior to his injury. I need "holds". Gracie
Hi Steve: I see no reason for him to be any less effective than when he left. Activated Thursday - should be well-utilized.
ummmmm....the answer to Matt (DC) about Furcal was not really much "detailed medical info." Can you talk about Furcal's injury and prognosis for this year?
Rick: The only thing the Dodgers will say about him is "back stiffness" - so when a team doesn't give us anything, we can either speculate (which I'm not inclined to do) or just give what we have. All I cna say is that back rpoblems are notoriuosly chronic - for everyone, including athletes, and the longer he has problems, the worse it looks - but whether it's a disc, or something else, can't say.
What's it lookin like for Mike Gonzalez? How's he feeling after Wednesday's outting? Is he going to get the BJ Ryan treatment and not pitch back to back for a while?
Hi Kyle: He probably won't pitch back to back initially just to protect his arm. But word is that he felt great after Weds and the Braves have to be happy about that.
What is the prognosis for Adam Wainwright? Initially the team thought it wasn't serious and the next thing I hear is that he will be out 40-45 days. Will he be effective when he eventually does return?
Hi Lawrence: Yes, you're correct. Some people seem surprised thinking it's a sprain - but he actually tore one of the pulleys in his finger which guides the tendon. It is giving him trouble gripping the ball, and given what he does for a living, that's a major problem. The longer time he's out to make sure it fully heals though, the better for the long-term. The problem may be stiffness in his finger if ther's any issue with scar. Until he gets closer to doing ball work, it is a little up in the air.
What's the word on Sheffield? Will he have a good second half?
Hi Mike: Sheffield hit a homer in his rehab assignment so that's a good sign. He was most recently out with an oblique strain and it seems like that has resolved well. Remember he still had some lingering issues with the shoulder and the down time to rest the oblique may have allowed him to get some extra rehab in for the shoulder. Sounds like the Tigers plan to activate him sometime next week. I am optimistic that he performs much better in the second half.
No Alfonso Soriano talk? Has he had his hand re-examined and is he looking to come back too soon?
Craig: Saved the best for last. Soriano is getting his hand re-examined today but no report out yet. He was originally projected out 6 weeks, but hopes to return before All-Star break. Much of whether that happens or not will depend on how well the bone is healing. If the healnig looks good today, then they will allow him to up his activity. The team medical staff will not allow him to come back prematurely. The good thing here is that with bone it is very easy to tell if it is healing, so they can be more precise. With soft tissue, like a hamstring, it has to be more trial and error b/c can't visualize the healing fully. It's why we see so many setbacks.
OK everyone: Time is up for me. Sorry, as always, that I can't get to all of your questions. It just goes to show how many injuries are floating aruond out there. Have a great weekend - and stay healthy.