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August 15, 8:48 AM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Good morning everyone and welcome to the Friday chat - I see that a number of you have checked in with questions already - hooray! So, off we go!

Eric (Boston)

Aramis ramirez's bruised hip....he wont miss more than a game or 2 right? any lingering problems?

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

Hi Eric: It sounds as if it's just a bruise and that he went out of the game with soreness - that should translate into just a day or two - have not heard anything more drastic yet. Sometimes if a bruise is very deep it can cause enough problems ot make a player miss more time, but as of yet, that does not appear to be the case.

Ralph (Chattanooga)

Hi, great informative chats. Adam Wainwright: Current status and how effective post-injury, either as starter or closer? Thanks and keep up the good work as we head into football!

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Hi Ralph: Thanks for the post. Well, it appeared that the Cardinals planned to use Wainwright in relief. His finger seems to be doing well -no soreness, able to throw all of his pitches, but still a little shaky in command. However, with Carpenter out, there is a possibility that he comes back as a starter. He is expected to make a minor league rehab start this weekend and increase his pitch count. I think he will be effective when he returns as they have been very careful not to bring him back too quickly, but I think in what capacity he returns remains to be seen and depends on Carpenter's status.

Sam, Redwood City, CA

Hi Stephania, Will Furcal give me anything this year! Love the chats!

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Hey Sam: Got to give the props to a fellow Redwood Citian!! Thanks for joining. Furcal has said that he intends to be back before the season ends. He hope to be back when rosters expand 9/1 - but it is not a sure thing. If you have room for a gamble, keep him on your bench as he is supposedly doing well in his rehba, but coming back from back surgery, he will not be rushed for sure- so it will be day to day from now until the beginning of next month.

John (NYC)

What is your prognosis/projection for McGahee?

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Hi John: At this point, based on the informaiton we've been given, I'm not too worried about McGahee. It is not uncommon to have a follow-up, "clean-up" procedure on a knee that has had a major reconstruction. This was his knee that he blew out in the '03 Fiesta Bowl and apparently it was nagging at him early in camp. These procedures are generally minor and the idea that he could be back Week One is not unreasonable, unless he develops some chronic swelling, etc. But at this point I would say the scope probably did him some good, and although the knee has had more wear and tear from his life in the NFL, the move to scope it probably helped him for this season.


Do we know anything about Percival's condition? His comments made it sound like a minor issue but you never know with him. Any news?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Hi Dave: I have read some mixed reports - some saying that he sprained his knee and is day-to-day, some sayinghamstring and have not yet been able to get a clearer answer. I think you are seeing these progressive wear and tear injuries that reflect his (baseball) age - and yes, I agree with you, minor in the sense of not being a serious injury, but when you start to add these up, and you saw that he could not come back quickly from the prior hamstring, you have to be a bit concerned that this could result in a DL stint. I will keep an eye out and update in my blog if I learn anything new.

Joe (york)

What do you expect well get out of marvin harrison this year? i heard its a difficult injury he will deal with all he worthy of being a number 2 wr?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Hi Joe: Well, I wasn't sure how much confidence I would have in him a few months ago, but what he has shown so far in camp has been impressive. He has practiced daily, played already in a preseason game (which by all accounts we did not think he would do) and looked good and MOST importantly, did not have any ill after effects. I would definitely consider him a number two receiver. Yes, a bit more risk given last year's history - but a good chance of high productivity for a number two if he stays healthy.

Ryan (Circleville, OH):

What have you heard on R. Braun? Is it sounding like he will play this weekend??

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

HI Ryan - and everyone asking about Braun: This is a tough question b/c whenever it's the back (and it sounds like he strained intercostal(rib) muscles along the back side of his trunk), it's a very day-to-day thing. Initially it looked like he might head to the DL b/c he had so much soreness. Weds he said he felt much better and was hopeful to play this weekend. Nothing definitve yet, and they may use him sparingly, the other possibility is that he goes out and swings a few times,and ends up too sore to play the whole series. I think he's a risky play this weekend, b/c whether he plays or not, I don't beleive he'll be at 100%. Better to wait and see how he does.

Jon (Mass)

Stephania, If it is a "sprain" then it's a totally different injury than Percival has been plagued with all season. If it is a "strain" then he has most likely either torn some of the scar tissue from the last injury or he's made the strain worse. The newspapers said he left on crutches after the game. From watching the broadcast yesterday, I'd have to guess it's one of his three hamstring muscles.

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Hi Jon: Yes, you're right - but the problem is that both have been reported - and there hasn't been any clarification as of yet. So it would be just speculation for me right now - and I'm waiting to see if we can get anything more definitive. The other issue is that sometimes they will report a knee injury if it is the distal hamstring - can't take the reports too literally until there is a little more info.

Tom (Hackensack)

Willie the talk regarding him losing playing time related in any way to his injury last year? In other words...should the injury concern fantasy owners..or just mendenhalls ability?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Hi Tom: Parker is healthy by all accounts. He had a clean break of his fibula - normally about a 6 week recovery and with the offseason he's had ple nty of time and from all acocunts is totally healthy. Problem is more the contest with Mendenhall.

B (Philly)

Hiya, Stephania. Andre Johnson's groin injury...something to be nervous about, or just par for the course in training camp?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Hiya B: Not too nervous. I think it's a training camp issue and Johnson says he's feeling much better. He and Kubiak say if this were regular season he would play this weekend. Not too worried.

Mark (Akron)

Do you think Ronnie Brown will beat the odds to be a top RB after ACL injury and a Fantasy Sleeper?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Hi Mark: I think Ronnie is looking very good . I was in Miami this week, watched him run, and he is ahead of schedule. But the challenge for these guys after ACL injury comes in playing games - and it just takes time to get that confidence back. He is splitting carries with RIcky Williams in practice and I expect the team to operate a shared back offense, at least until Brown gets several games under his belt and shows that he really can handle the load - and even then if Williams is performing extremely well, they may continue the split. So for what it's worth, I think he will be good, but for the first few weeks his productivity will be limited certainly.

Steve (Seattle)

Tampa Tribune says Percival to be placed on DL.

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Thanks Steve - hadn't yet seen that - not a surprise.


With a guy like S Jax, does him not playing in preseason help or hurt him? Is he more likely to get injured because he hasn't practiced, or will the time off help him during the season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Hi Matt: Great question - impossible to answer with any degree of certainty. Obviously avoiding the contact means he won't get hurt that way. But the whole "game readiness" concept, the idea of getting used to playing, taking some early contact, there is some thought that the body adapts as a result of that and that it helps an athlete coing into the season. Of course you only have to look at LT who has never done much in a preseason and for the most part has stayed very healthy and produces like a madman to see that it is not always the case. I do worry a bit since Jackson was so banged up last year - but I probably ocme down on the side of thinking that he is helped by not getting beat up early in camp.

Darius (Minneapolis)

Happy Friday Stephania, Wondering how long you think Mike Lowell will be out. Seems like alot of oblique injuries lately

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Hi Darius: Yes, the oblique is really one of the dreaded injuries in baseball b/c it affects hitters and pitchers and can mean so much lost time if severe. First, I think it's wise that he was placed on the DL rpomptly instead of trying to gut it out, better chance of it not worsening. Also, he has been dealing with that nagging hip flexor issue so it gives him a chance to rest both. Knowing him, this is not likely to be much beyond the DL time, but obviously there will be assessment as the two weeks goes on.

Don (Miami)

Yo Stephania - Looks like Penny is heading back to the DL. Do you expect him back or is this a lost year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Yo Don: Not looking good for Penny, after all, he's already been out for seven+ weeks with shoulder issues. Although he did well in his rehab starts, it was clearly not behind him. The plan is a shutdown of at least five days before he starts throwing again - they may try to squeeze something out of him if he can throw again without issue, but that is a big if considering how his season has been so far.


The Tampa Tribune did NOT say Percival was going to be placed on the DL. The story in the Tribune said that it was "likely" he'd go the DL today based on the highly scientific evidence of "the way Troy Percival looked after Thursday's game."

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

OK - so we have some discrepancy about whether Percival is going on the DL or not. Like I said originally, there has been mixed info out there. Stay tuned to reports later today b/c I'm sure it will get cleared up - but it's safe to say that he won't be seeing any action this weekend.

John (SF)

Whats the deal with Rowand?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Hi John: All we know is that he left b/c of tightness in his back. Not good but doesn't sound too severe at this point. No further word yet.

Bear Norris (Bristol, CT)

Hi Stephania. Love the chats! Was wondering if you could shed some light on Carl Crawford's injury and subsequent surgery. is there a chance he is back this year? and is this the type of injury that can affect him next year? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Hi Bear in Bristol: Crawford had an injury to a band of tissue that anchors a tendon on his middle finger and opted for surgery to repair it. The normal recovery time is about 6-8 weeks which menas it looks like his season is done - but in the long run this is probably a better move for him in terms of the health of his finger. If indeed he misses the end of the season (which I expect) he will hav eplenty of time to slowly rehab the hand and get back to hitting the ball without time pressure, lessening the chances that he has issues heading into next year. Bad timing for the Rays - may be ultimately good timing in terms of his hand having oppporutnity to fully recover.

James (Maine)

Can you help me decide what to do with Carlos Guillen?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Hi James: Well, I'm not sure what you would like to do with him, but I will tell you when I hear "pinched nerve" in his back, it does not sound like a few days and it's all done to me. Supposedly he is experiencing a great deal of "fatigue" which I interpret as weakness, in his legs and back, related to this. He says he thinks if he rests for a few days it will help. I'm not so confident.

Bob (Philly)

Hi Stephania, What are your thoughts on the chances of H. Matsui returning after rehab and getting back to his pre-injury form?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Hi Bob: I think the Yankees and Matsui are trying to find a way to use him before the season is over, but I worry that the knee will continue to be problematic. he is scheduled for a rehab assignment this week with the hope that he could return to the majors in about a week, but likely he will DH - and given that his big issue has been chronic swelling, and he's had the knee drained on a couple of occasions, if anything happens to trigger the inflammation again (which might not be too hard) then he's back to Square One. I still expect him to have offseason surgery and think they're just trying to stretch him out to get something before the season ends.


What about our favorite "injured" pitcher Bedard? Haven't we gone through this before? He starts to look "good" and then something else pops up? Do you think he is really seriously hurt or just tired of pitching for the Mariners? I can't see him being more than a two start pitcher in the last two weeks of the year. Given that, is he even worth picking up for those two starts? I'm not bitter about him or anything huh? I just get the feeling that he is sandbagging the whole season, injured or not.

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Hi Dave - and others asaking about Bedard: This is so tough b/c we're looking at it from a distance. I certainly agree that it seems like we've been here before - and I have expressed concern about his multiple musculoskeletal issues. He recently had his longest throwing session since the shoulder issues began, without incident, and it looks like he may get the one or two starts, but I agree, I wouldn't expect much. I'm very reluctant to ever say someone is sandbagging a season, b/c deep down, most athloetes really want to be healthy and produce,. But it woulod be easy to infer that he might be frustrated, as much by his own physical situation as anything, and that may come across. It's almost like if he can just get through this season and start fresh - but he needs to end the season showing he can still throw. From a fantasy perspective I woulds say stay away for the rest of this year.

Adam (NYC)

How about a fantasy golf question? Have any other golfer's had the same type of surgery as Tiger Woods and hwo have the responded? Any shot this makes Tiger mortal?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Hi Adam: Sure - golf question. No one to my knowledge has had the exact same situation as Woods - with the cartilage damage, the ACL, the stress fractures all going on. Sounds like he is planning to take it very slowly with his rehab - and that is totally in his long-term interest. He will get his leg as strong as he can before he starts putting those torsional forces on it, which is why he's already said he'll wait until January to swing a club (although that could change if he feels better sooner). I'm still not sure if he's mortal based on what I witnessed during the US Open.

Ralph Chicago Buzzer Beater!!

Hello *Star*phania Even Longoria....will he really be back soon?

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Hi Ralph: You beat the buzzer! Longoria is expected to miss about 3 weeks. They didn't see the fracture at first, suggesting small crack - and nyou really just want to get some callus (bone) formation to show healing before the wrist is subject to torsional forces of bat swinging - and not risk separating the fracture line further. So - yes, I think he will be back, assuming it heals as it should.

Rob (Massapequa, New York)

Whats the story with David Murphy's injury and how long will he be sidelined for?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Rob: Posterior cruciate sprain (one of the stbailizing ligaments of the knee) -expected 2-4 week absence although I would project it to the longer side, these tend to be a little trickier in terms of returning.


Bigger injury concern: AP or westbrook...considering taking westbrook at 2 in a non-ppr leage...your thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

Don: Lots of people trying to choose between Westbrook and Peterson. I have not bought into the Peterson injury risk. I think he had some bad luck in college - and the LCL injury was very unusual - don't see that often. I think his risk is not unlike that of most running backs. Westbrook has had some issues with inflammation in his knee but has seemed to manage it extremely well across the season and has only missed 2 games in 2 years. I would expect Westbrook to play most game, maybe miss 1-2, and I like him in a ppr league b/c he does it all - catch, run and score. Extremely productive back - and a happy one now with a new contract.

Shelley (Bham, AL)

Should I be concerned about Peyton Manning? Does this type of injury have lingering effects that will continue into the season? Thanks for all your great work!

Stephania Bell
  (12:05 PM)

Hi Shelley - Final question! No, don't be concerned. Biggest issue was the infection - and it's been cleared. I expect him to play Week One, no side effects.

Stephania Bell
  (12:06 PM)

OK -thanks everyone for coming to the chat - I can see that football is jsut around the corner with all of the foorball questions - but baseball is gearing up towards playoff time! So we will keep at it, next Friday - see you then!