Good morning and Happy Friday! Lots of fantasy football drafts happening this weekend -and many injuries across the league. And baseball playoff time heating up. I see a number of questions already so let's get to them!
Kevin Curtis, what shot does he have of playing by week 8?
Hi Bob: Well, the typical timing for a return from sports hernia surgery is around 8 weeks. I have seen guys come back sooner and some take longer. Part of it often depends on how long the problem existed before surgery (so opportunity for other things to get weak) and how extensive the weakening of the abdominal wall is. I think it is reasonable to expect him to return inWeek 8, but athletes often feel a little tighter after this, takes a bit of being in the game to open up and go full speed with confidence. I would not draft him on a fantasy team - if anything he can be picked up later.
Willis McGahee is still only running in a poola?Świll he be ready for the opener?
Todd: Not unreasonable b/c he only had the scope just under two weeks ago. Pool limits impact but allows the body to perform the same motion (i.e. running). I'm not so worried about him being physically able to go by the opener -more concerned by the rumblings that he is not familiar with the offense, etc.
Any worries about Favre's arm or conditioning going into the season?
Hi Leo: Great question. Many factors that converge here. His age and wear and tear on the arm mean he likely has less tolerance for a full camp, so the fact that he came into the season late may help him there. By the same token, I'm not sure what he did in the offseason to condition his body, or prepare his arm, for another season. He has admitted to fatigue and it appears he is playing a bit of catch-up, but I would bet that by the time the opener comes, he'll be ready to handle the load.
Follow up on Mcgahee, does that make Rice a big sleeper?
Hi matt: Yes - and word is that he has looked fantastic. So he could be a nice value pick if McGahee struggles either because of physical issues or otherwise.
How long does a shoulder injury like Chad Johnson's take and do you see lingering affects into the regular season?
Hi Sprung: Important question - not too many people talking about it. Johnson had a subluxation - shoulder slipped slightly in the joint (slips slightly out of place but does not dislocate). It can be painful, and it can stretch/tear some of the tissue that supports the shoulder joint. So initially the athlete is rested and the arm protected so that any damaged tissue can heal and the pain can settle. The question then becomes, was it enough trauma to now make it easier to have this recur? And/or will that shoulder be more sensitive if he takes another hit to it or lands on it (more likely). There are means of protecting the shoulder to some degree and he will take less contact than a running back (remember how much this bothered Portis into the season when it happened to him in preseason) - receivers take less direct contact (Kellen Winslow had this happen last year and played well afterward). But Chad is a little less predictable, the ankles are still not 100% and now this. Makes me view him as a little more fragile.
Hey Stephania, love your work! Are you starting Wainwright today? The '08 Braves aren't exactly Murderers Row Jr.
Hi Scott - and Steve and Rob also asking about Wainwright: Whiloe I think he's ready to go from a health perspective, I don't think he'll go that far. Hi slast outing he threw 64 pitches - and I doubt he goes far beyond that as they re-introduce him. Also, no guarantee he stays a starter as they will use him as they need to for the remainder of this year. I would wait this one out and see what happens after this weekend.
Who do you think will be getting the lions-share of the carries in Miami this season? Will Ronnie Brown be getting the bulk of them once he gains confidence back or is Williams doing enough to solidify a role in the offense?
Kevin: You are asking the million dollar question. I see it at least STARTING with Williams getting about 60 percent to Brown's 40 (or slightly less). Brown looks good, I saw him in camp, and he feels good, but he still needs to get the confidence of being back in the game. And now the thumb. Yes, it's his non-dominant hand, but still. And Williams has looked outstanding in camp. Staff likes him a lot. Why push Brown (from their perspective) unnecessarily? He can ease back into football, and then as he gains confidence, etc they can increase his role - or continue to rely more on Williams if that seems best. Not great when trying to make fantasy decisions, but I would say Brown's role is murkier at this point.
Hi Stephania, Shawne Merriman-Dr. James Andrews, Not a good sign. Can you give us an update
Hi Darius: Reports tricking out but it sounds as if Merriman is saying that he has a torn posterior cruciate ligament. Here's the thing. He had a scope 5 months ago, if there was something at that point that they really felt needed fixing, they likely would have addressed it. PCL tears often go "un-fixed" - it is a far more complex surgery/rehab than ACL, and many people can function fine without it. May have been that Merriman has had the damage and the thought was that he could work with it. May be that he has damaged it since the scope. We also don't know what the degree of injury is. It would be highly unusual to reconstruct with only partial damage, but a partial tear can give a player a feeling of instability. There aren't enough details yet to know how to project this - and Merriman is sounding as if he wants additional medical opinions - and it's starting to look a little tense between him and the Chargers. I would be surprised though if anything surgical happens. I would expect instead that they might focus on aggressive strengthening to try to help him get over this hurdle - but admittedly there's not much time.
Will Eric Chavez ever be healthy and productive again, or are his injuries going to linger forever?
Don: I like Eric Chavez. He seems like a nice guy who has had more than his share of injuries. But that being said, with the number and variety of musculoskeletal issues he has had, I would not bank on him being fully healthy at any point.
Need your considerable expertease Stephania, Do you think Ian Kinsler will be back before the end of the year or should he be dropped?
Hi Darius: And thanks to everyone asking about Kinsler: Tricky. It appears that he will not have sports hernia surgery right now, but will try conservative rehab to try and get back for some time this season. BUT - here's the thing. No imaging tests conclusively diagnose sports hernias. They're usually diagnosed by exclusion - meaning it's NOT one of many other things. The decision then to go to surgery is based on clinical examination AND how it responds (or rather fails to respond) to conservative treatment. So an abdominal or groin strain whose symptoms can mimic a sports hernia, can heal with conservative treatment. If it doesn't (and I'm oversimplifying a bit), then surgery is considered. So while it's encouraging that Kinsler is not immediately headed to surgery, I would still be concerned. I would do this. Keep him on my bench for the moment and watch the news reports carefully over the next week. If he can run (usually with a sports hernia, they will not be able to do this or at least not well), then I would hold on. If running is a problem by middle-late next week, drop him.
General questions - are Bulger's injuries from last year likely to be recurrent without taking a massive hit or can they fully heal in the off-season? Just curious which injuries see the most 'lingering' from one year to the next...thanks
Hi Coop: I think Bulger's type of injuries (ribs, etc) were mostly a result of being banged up b/c he was so unprotected. Typically rest and an offseason will help those. Now Bulger has to be thrilled that Orlando Pace is back and he's got Steven Jackson to run the ball. He should start the year off better.
In addition to Kinsler (who you've already discussed) I also have Crawford and Bedard. I'm comfortably in first so I can hold onto them if it is likely I'll get something during the final one or two weeks. Is it worth holding onto either of them? Thanks!
Crawford is a big question mark. You're talking at least 6 weeks for recovery from surgery and then you're talking about getting the grip strength back to swing the bat, etc. I mean maybe one or two regular season games. I think he's not going to be able to od anything for you in fantasy. Bedard supposedly did not have a great last outing when he threw and after all, it's the Mariners, so I don't expect to see him back.
Hi Stephania, With the type of injury Hideki Matsui had/has, do you see him being able to finish the year? I am stuck on dropping Nate McLouth for him, but I am not sure on his health. Thanks!
Sean: I think it's a big question mark. He is really the ultimate day-to-day guy. And I fully expect he will have offseason surgery, so they are just trying to get some benefit from him at the plate this season, but I wouldn't count on him lasting.
Good morning Stephania. Ryan Braun: good to go this weekend or be cautious and give him time?
Hi Jason: Another million dollar question - if we could predict accurately. These intercostal/abdominal injuries are always tough - always with a high likelihood of recurrence and we've already seen that from Braun with swinging the bat. Knowing that the season is winding down, I'm sure they will try to effectively manage him (in other words, not allow this to get worse), but that's not the same as being fully healthy. I wouldn't get rid of him from my roster, but I would be concerned that this could be up and down for the rest of the year.
Hi Stephania- What's up with Braylon Edwards Foot? Could a cut take nearly a month to heal? I'm hearing he is iffy for the opener. True?
Hi Justin: The worry is that the cut will re-open if he stresses the foot too much. That is why they want him resting to make sure the wound fully heals and doesn't become the type of thing that keeps getting stressed so it never fully closes - then there become much more significant risks (infection being a big one). I would expect he'll be ready for the opener but that's why they're keeping it so conservative now.
Stephania - any news on Longoria? Is the bone healing well or still too early to tell?
Anthony: To be honest, I know he was supposed to have new X-rays last Friday but have not yet heard the resukts. The idea was if the bone was healing well, there was hope he could return around 9/1. I will try to follow up on this one.
What is the extent of Matt Hasselbecks injuries? Suddenly a "back spasm" has put him out of practice yet again. Are the injuries greater than originally though, or are they just taking further precautions? Will he be ready come season's start?
Hi Gregg: Whenever I see "back" I am somewhat concerned b/c these are the things that you do NOT want to see become chronic. That being said, I believe the Seahawks are being extra cautious, as in don't push him now so that this hopefully does not become an issue that he is dealing with throughout the season. For now, I do not think it is serious, but I am keeping my eye on it, and it would make me a little more nervous about him as a fantasy starter.
Still a little confused after your answer to your Braylon Edwards question. So... would you feel comfortable today with Edwards as your #1 receiver?
Yes, I would. I expect it to be healed by Week One - yes, more risk than before he had a foot wound, but I still like him as a Number One receiver.
So are you saying Merriman may be out for the year or can he play through the injury?
Ed: I highly doubt he is out for the year. I expect he will end up playing - but his timetable is certainly a little more questionable now and I think we have to watch and see what happens over the next few days.
I can't believe we've gotten to this point in this chat without a Peyton Manning question. So, I'll oblige......Stephania, will he or won't he play in Week 1?
Hi Brandon: Well, it's not that people aren't asking - just hadn't gotten there. I expect he'll play in Week One. Word is the Colts management will let Peyton and the team docs make the call as they do not want to place any pressure on him to return - but I think he makes it.
Stephania - Can you provide a quick update on everyone's favorite Indians (Hafner and V-Mart), as well as your expert opinion on what kind of production we can expect from each of them for the last month of the year? Thanks so much.
Hi Eric: Hafner to me is still a risky play - with all the time away you'll want to see what he can do before activating him. Martinez is looking good in rehab, expect him to be back soon - whether he's every day or not remains to be seen, but I expect they want his bat in the lineup at DH.
Is Izzy out for the year?
any news from Justin Upton?
Hi Brad: Well, he's with his team - but unclear when he'll be back in the lineup. Sounds like from a rehab perspective he's ready to go, may be an issue of managing their lineup. I would expect to see him in the mix this week.
OK everyone - they're pulling the plug. Thanks so much for coming - please keep the injury questions rolling. We'll be back next week for more...until then, have a healthy weekend.