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June 5, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Good Morning Sports Nation! Welcome to the injury chat! I see many of you are here - can't wait to get to your questions...

Frank (Chicago)

I just heard that Matt Forte needs an MRI because he heard a "pop" behind his knee and then limped off the field. This doesn't sound good to me. have you heard anything?

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Frank: You were here so early - and yes, the football questions are starting to roll in also. Unfortunately, I haven't heard more than you - but we know we don't like a "pop". Heard that he had pain radiating into his hamstring and his calf - which could implicate a few things. have to wait and see what the team releases later.

Har in Vancouver

Hi Female fan wondering what you think Kelvim Escobar will do this Weekend in his first start back?? I also want to try and flip him for E Santana. Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Har: Welcome female fan. I never like to predict how a guy will do, b/c I'll invariable be wrong. I am optimistic about Escobar - but cautiously so. Remember this will be his first start since 2007. He has had ups and downs returning from injury. I liked how he was pitching right before the season started (before he had the last setback) and I think slowing him down the last couple of months has helped. Santana clearly is struggling - may very well be partially due to the fact his elbow may not be 100%. Escobar may be better bet.

Jack (D.C.)

Jose Reyes - buy low, or stay away?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Jack: Depends how long you're willing to wait. I don't think he's going to be back for at least a month, perhaps closer to 6 weeks, and whenever I hear of a guy starting with a calf injury, and then having it followed with a hamstring injury, that's not good. They're saying that the two are unrelated but it's hard to accept that. With his speed being so critical, I think he may return before he really regains his form. Remember when Alfonso Soriano had leg issues and it took him until after the offseason to get his speed back? I'd probably move on.

Todd (MPLS)

Tulowitzki - What do you think we'll hear on his MRI? IF his MRI comes back negative... is he worth anything the rest of the year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Todd: Reportedly Tulo's hand MRI showed no major structural damage. Sounds like they expect him back in the lineup within a few days. Only thing that's strange to me is that no one is sure when it happened, or what caused it specifically, yet it was enough to create swelling and keep him down for a few days. Soooo...just makes me a bit nervous trying to project on a player with all that uncertainty.

David spokane Wa

Brian Westbrook injury, is it major or minor? How do you think it will affect his value?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

David: Well, it depends on what they are actually doing in surgery. Cleaning up bone spurs isn't necessarily a huge surgery (although the ankle can be tricky) but it's the fact that spurs are there in the first place that signals more concern to me. Suggests degenerative changes in the joint and instability - but hey, Westbrook is turning 30 and has played this game seven seasons - some of that is to be expected. I wrote up a detailed piece that will be on the site today if you're curious about more of my thoughts on this one.

Marco (NYC)

They say Asdrubal Cabrera could be out 2-4 weeks. What do you think, closer to 2 weeks or closer to 4 weeks?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Marco: Well, it took a couple days to even get the real diagnosis on his shoulder. Now we're told it's an AC sprain (quite different from a dislocation). They haven't indicated the degree. All depends on the degree of swelling and how long it takes him to get his range of motion and strength back. I think two is a little short, but he may be able to beat 4.

Andrew (East Brunswick, NJ)

Steph, any word on the severity of Miggy's injury in last nights game? Will he miss any significant amount of time?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Andrew: The early word suggests that it's minor. He actually said he thought he could play today - but that story sometimes changes when the guy wakes up the next day and it feels worse. No panic yet, sounds like it's not too bad.

Jon (MI)

Stephania - everything still hush hush about Votto? Any new developments?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Jon: Not that I've heard. All the team has said is that he went on the DL with stress-related issues, and the implication was that it had to do with the intermittent dizziness that he's been dealing with. It had sounded as if overall the dizziness was better, but lingering. Hard to say from a distance on this one, but maybe the two weeks of complete rest and no travel is what he really needs.

Cody Philly

Happy Friday Starphania, what is going on with Quentin, is this going to be a lingering injury. Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Happy Friday to you too Cody: Plantar fasciitis is soooo variable - this is a tough one to predict, especially without seeing the guy. It's too bad he didn't hit the DL sooner - b/c it seems that his condition worsened. Guillen certainly sounds optimistic that he'll be back 6/10 when eligible and Quentin did apparently get some shoe modifications made, but we've seen other guys have season-long problems with this. Bottom line - hope for the best, but understand this could go either way.

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Happy Friday to you too Cody: Plantar fasciitis is soooo variable - this is a tough one to predict, especially without seeing the guy. It's too bad he didn't hit the DL sooner - b/c it seems that his condition worsened. Guillen certainly sounds optimistic that he'll be back 6/10 when eligible and Quentin did apparently get some shoe modifications made, but we've seen other guys have season-long problems with this. Bottom line - hope for the best, but understand this could go either way.

King (TX)

Hi Starph! How's Longoria's hammy? I heard he might play today. Is that enough time off for it to heal? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

King: Well, he certainly SOUNDS good. You know my thoughts by now on these muscle strains - so delicate, so finicky, always the risk of something worsening. But...he did describe it as tightness, so have to say it sounds minor. He will be available for pinch hitting only today, supposed to be in lineup Saturday.

David (Roanoke)

Hey Stephania, This most recent news from Alfonso Soriano seems weird to me. Does it make sense to have a sharp pain and then be painfree. It just seems a bit weird to me.

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

David: I'll agree - it does sound weird. There are times when an athlete can push through some scar and it can be sudden and sharp, and then feel better...but with him I'm not sure what scar tissue that would be. It's a little remote. For now, guess we just have to wait and see what he does.

Mark (Omaha)

whats the latest you hear on Grady Sizemore? What are the %'s he is back in a few weeks vs opting for surgery?? thanx!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Mark: Hard to give a percentage b/c it's not as if it's a specific "injury" so we're not sure what we're dealing with. They're just calling it inflammation. The concern would be the amount of time that it's been lingering. Now he hasn't had a chance to fully rest it until now so there may be some hope. But sounds as if they will do a scope to clean out the area if the symptoms hang around. It's a toss-up right now.

Nick (Santa Paula, CA)

Hey, Stephania... male fan here. Any word on Youkilis? Any chance he starts today?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Nick: We like the male fans too...I wouldn't be surprised if Youkilis sat this one out, only b/c the tightness up in the calf was essentially a progression of symptoms after being kicked in the ankle the night before. Of course if he shows up at the park with zero discomfort, they'll use him, but again, I wouldn't be surprised if it took another day or two.

Jim (Trenton, MI)

Good Morning sweet Stephania, since football is being disccussed I have a couple questions if you don't mind. I'm in a 12 team H2H league and we keep two players each year. I have been debating keeping T. Brady or D. McFadden along with Forte, leaning toward Brady. Questions: 1. If it's the worst case scenario with Forte in your medical opinion, is there time enough before the season for him to get fully healthy? And, 2., regarding Brady, clearly he's a higher rated and projected player than McFadden, but will Brady truly be the Brady I drafted 3 years ago or be a big injury risk? Thank you, have a wonderful weekend.

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Hi Jim: Thanks for your question. Hard to answer the first part, b/c without knowing what we're dealing with, I would be just guessing. As for the second part, I have been saying for a long time that Brady will not only come back and be great, I think you get a better, more motivated Brady. Crazy? No, true.

Bill (Chicago)

Token Josh Hamilton question... What's the latest?

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Bill: Sounds like he's leaning towards surgery if the specialist recommends it. He's headed to see William Myers, one of the foremost authorities on sports hernia surgeries and may very well end up getting it done. He thinks he could be back in 4 weeks, but I would push it to more like 6 if he has the procedure.

You'll never pick me.....

How do you think Travis Hafner will do coming off the DL? Worth a pickup?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Never say never....This is a big guess b/c no one has heard too much since Hafner moved west to extend his rehab after setbacks in the spring. This has not been a traditional injury by any means. Never really had major MRI findings. Found a small tear during surgery which was addressed, but then he hit a wall during rehab that no one could really explain. The fact that he's coming back means he's demonstrated enough to indicate he's ready to be there. How long he lasts or how well he performs??? Almost impossible to say with any certainty.

Hal (Madison)

What's the latest on Webb, and in general why do pitchers always start throwing from "flat ground" vs. a mound? does throwing froma mound make a difference in terms of stress on the arm?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Hal: Well, he's thrown the flat ground bullpen, should throw from a mound next week and could return around the All-Star Break, whether that's just before or just after is unclear. Depends, as always, how he responds to each successive step in the throwing program. And to answer your other question, yes, the mound because of the added height, changes the work of delivering the ball, adding more stress to the arm. So it comes later.

Lucien (Paris)

Hello Stephania Any word on Victorino? Any chance he starts today? Thank you

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Lucien: I think there's a chance he starts today, but it's no sure thing. He reportedly was still feeling some discomfort in his hip doing agility drills - and although he felt better, he described it as "certain movements" that still bothered him. He would have to show that those things are not bothering him today to get in the lineup, may only pinch hit.

Roger (NM)

Should I put Jason Bartlett in my lineup for next week (he's eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday), or do I need to find a replacement for one more week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Roger: Find a replacement. When the head trainer says he's not sure that he'll come off the DL when expected, he probably won't. As a shortstop he has to be able to move laterally - quickly - and we have seen guys struggle coming back from this relatively minor injury at this position if they return too soon. They will make sure he's right so I think his time will be extended.

Erik (MN)

Hi Stephania, I saw Nady threw on both Monday and Tuesday - any update since then on his progress or did they shut him down? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Erik: No official report - but sounds like they're planning on continuing to bring him along slowly with the hope that he can avoid surgery.

The Bell

Does the Stephania Bell live in your office or the studio? Also will Aramis Ramirez be the same when he comes back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

The bell lives in the studio - where hopefully Matthew and Nate are nice to it, even when I'm not around. Hard to say about Ramirez, this may ultimately require surgery - and part of deciding that will be how he feels the shoulder holds up when he returns. He has a long ways to go before returning (just cleared for baseball activities) so we're talking post-All-Star Break at least, and then we'll just have to see how he does.

Joe (Chicago)

Maybe you can squeeze me in: do you think Furcal's back is still bothering him? Is it time to give up on him once Bartlett comes off the DL?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Joe: you made it! Yes, I think his back is still bothering him - and you know I'm always saying these back problems tend to recur. Hard to say how long this episode will linger. Bartlett's status can't be taken for granted, but knowing the Rays, they will be sure he is fully recovered when he does return. May be a god time to switch out Furcal for Bartlett.

Andy (Pittsburgh)

Is Andy LaRoche okay? He seemed to be coming to life at the plate.

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

Andy: Just heard knee contusion. Have to hope it's minor b/c you're right, he was. Hate to break that up.

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

OK gang - time for me to go. So sorry to not be able to get to all of your excellent questions...but keep 'em coming every week!! Have a great weekend and I'll talk with you again next Friday...