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June 26, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Good Morning Sports Nation and Happy Friday. Let's get to your injury questions - I can see that many of you are asking about the same things that have me concerned this week. Let's get to it...

Tom (MN)

Anything new on Quentin? Is he progressing at all? Will he be back after the All-Star break or close to it?

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Hi Tom: Congrats on being the first to the show... I think you could say that Quentin has progressed to some degree since he is doing some running. It's just that what he appears to be doing is a far cry from what he needs to do to play. Straight line running, light agility drills. Don't think his foot is close to out of the woods. I'm sure it will be post-All Star Break, but don't know yet how long post. All depends on whether he has a setback along the way. I'd guess late July right now.

Eric (Miami, FL)

Any reason to expect B.Webb to pitch this year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

No. To be right to the point. And I didn't think I'd be saying that. But he has had several setbacks to the point that there has to be something that's keeping him from being able to progress - and now the plan is for him to consult with 3 specialists - all top orthopedic surgeons including Andrews who he's seen before. But it's sounding more and more like surgery - which means no chance this year.

Mike (Purdue)

John Smoltz! After seeing him pitch last night, do you think he has enough juice to start effectively the rest of the year or are we going to see Buchholz soon?

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Mike: Give him a chance!! I watched him pitch last night and liked what I saw by the 5th inning. Remember, he hasn't pitched without pain in a year. It's going to take him a little bit to settle in - and he admitted to being anxious - first time with a new team, lots of eyes on him. But give him a few starts to sort out his delivery - and I think in the second half the Red Sox have a solid pitcher.

Dan (Boston MA)

Stephania: As players' treatment gets more and more sophisticated, your chats become more and more informative/enlightening. Thanks so much. My question's about Mike Lowell's condition: Apparently he's being put on some sort of maintenance program. Do you think this will be enough to keep him off the DL or is he going to see some down time this season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Dan: You are so kind - and glad you're coming. Lowell is interesting b/c I think that more players NEED to be on a maintenance program after a major surgery such as this whether it's hip, shoulder, whatever. So often we think that once they're out of rehab and back in the lineup that they're "fixed" but many times they are still building endurance, still adjusting to their post-op feel, etc. Lowell has had some tightness in his hip (reasonable), may also be some fatigue. He's not the youngest guy in the lineup. And it's very reasonable for them to keep him on a program that includes rest days. I think if they can manage it effectively they can keep him off the DL. Never any guarantees - but they have a great medical staff up there who will be on top of it.

Jeff (Boston)

Ok, Evan Longoria's hammy is more frightening than Matt Berry's mugshot. Any new news?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Jeff: You made the cut just for humor reasons...I never like to see a guy re-injure a previously injured hamstring, especially one that already bothered him this season as is the case with Longoria. He did say this is not as bad as the original injury when he missed six games I think, so it looks like he could be back this weekend. Reason for concern and to keep an eye on it, not reason to panic.

Joe (NY)

If Webb does have shoulder surgery what can we expect for next year in terms of keeper value?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Joe: Totally depends what they end up doing. If he does indeed have a labral injury as has been reported, the returns post-surgery are mixed. The fact that he's young helps. If he has other tissue involved as well, that hurts.

steve (pittsburgh)

Ms. Bell:What are your thoughts on Beltran and his injured knee? Will this hamper him all season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Steve: My thoughts are that we don't have the full picture. Certainly a bone bruise can worsen, especially if an athlete has too much impact loading before it's healed. But some of the reported treatments (orthotics, PRP) don't totally fit and make it sound as if there's more to i -like an acoompanying soft tissue injury. He's had both knees scoped in the past so they weren't perfect to beginwith. I understand he's on crutches now - and certainly if he is worse, they will be more cautious with his return this time (meaning longer to come back). Based on the limited info, I think there's virtually no chance he's back before All-Star, and maybe when they share more with us(and there is some rumor that he may seek another opinion also) then we can better project a timetable.

Matt (CA)

Any latest news on Reyes? By him taking so long to get back, are the Mets making sure he comes back at 100% so that this won't linger throughout the season? Do you see him getting back to stealing bases? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Matt: All good questions. No great answers. I think the Mets are certainly being cautious, especially after they tried to push through his calf injury and clearly that didn't work out so well. In fact he injured the hamstring while trying to rehab the calf. He has a long history in his past of soft tissue injuries so I'm far more concerned about the length of time it takes him to recover and how well he will. Especially b/c he is a speed guy. I expect he'll return not too long post- All Star Break, but I'm not confident that he'll be confident in his legs right away, meaning less steals.

CB (Virginia)

Xavier Nady suffered a setback yesterday. Have you heard how bad it is and is his season over?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

CB: There is no official word on how bad it is, but just the fact that he had the setback is bad. He had a partial injury to a previously reconstructed TJ ligament. They were hopeful he could return after rehab but there was always the risk that a big throw could aggravate it -and it appears that at some point throwing last night did just that. He's headed for tests, but it doesn't look great.

Drew (Hudson Valley, NY)

Hi Stephania - big fan of your chat! How do you see Josh Hamilton's progression the rest of this year? Does he play in the Mid-Summer classic?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Hi Drew: Thanks for coming...So far Hamilton looks pretty good. I wouldn't get too carried away with news of his progress. He's definitely doing well, but still needs to run the bases and play in game situations...where he might need to stretch in the outfield to make a play or leap to catch a ball. Those are more demanding tasks - so if he can do those without a problem, then I have no problem with him making an early return. Just important not to rush it unnecessarily. Hamilton seems to get that - so see if he goes out on a rehab assignment early next week, then it will be easier to tell.

Mango (Chicago)

Hey Stephania, is Peavy's ankle going to keep him sidelined all year? Seems like SD doesnt really have a reason to hurry him back. Thanks for the advice.

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Mango: Hard to tell. Right now it's at least late August to early September. He's scheduled to be re-evaluated Tuesday and it will all depend on the extent of healing at that point. If there's been no healing and he's headed for surgery, then he's done. But still...even if he progresses, it will be slow and deliberate.

Eric (Lincoln City, Or)

Not to dispute the expert but I have to argue your answer on Smoltz. The guy is a big time vet and the new team/jitters excuse doesn't work for me. If he needs time why didn't they let him work himself back in the minors? Do you really think he pitched so poorly last night because of rookie jitters or is his stuff not back up to par yet in which case, why isn't he working back in the minors?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Eric: Did you hear him talk at the press conference after the game? And this is not a guy who gives excuses - he's far too much of a pro. But he just acknowledged that he was all over the place and he was a bit in awe of the moment. And not every pitch was poor. He just had better command of some things than others. And there's no match for the majors. Even when guys pitch in the minors they'll tell you it's not the same. There's a reason there's a difference between majors and minors. So yes, it often takes pitchers especially, when working back after a year out of the game, several outings in the majors as essentially a final rehab phase.

Matt (Chicago, IL)

Stephania - thanks for the great chat! A sprained toe doesn't *sound* like much, but will it keep Scott Downs out much longer than his 15-day DL stint? I mean, he does have 9 other toes...

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Matt: Yes - there are a few others. But the big toe on the push leg ends up taking a lot of strain (range of motion and force) when a pitcher delivers the ball. Any pain or loss of mobility could effectively change his mechanics all the way up the chain - and then you risk the big one -arm injury. So better to wait until the toe is 100% and not cause other problems. He may go a bit past the 15 days but is not expected to be out excessively long.

Dave (Tampa)

Hi Stephania, What do you know about Bedard's shoulder? He's never been a guy to 'tough it out', but he went from missing a start, to the DL, and now is having his return pushed back.

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Dave: If you know me, you know I had my concerns about Bedard after watching him (especially) last year. The Mariners make it sound as if they're just taking their time - and that's reasonable in the long-term interest of protecting him, but I still don't like that it's the same shoulder he had a procedure done on in the offseason...jut don't trust it.

Bruce (San Diego)

Great work as always. Is Volquez done? Please let me know if I should cut him

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Bruce - Thank you. Lots of folks wondering about Volquez this morning- - and some wondering whether he's headed for surgery. I think it's too soon to send him under the knife...but you can't like the fact that the inflammation is worse than originally thought. According to Dusty Baker, the problem is not in the ligament, but in the tendon. If it's truly flexor tendinitis, it definitely can improve. It's just a little unusual to have it crop up at this point in the season. And it may mean that he faces a longer down time. Right now wouldn't expect anything before late July. Stay tuned for sure.

Chris (Chicago, IL)

Hi Stephania, Can Aramis Ramirez make it back before the all star break or is that wishful thinking?

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Chris: I think it's wishful thinking. If anything they need to be cautious with him since he's had prior shoulder injuries.

Johnny Cueto (Boston)

Do you drop Webb yet or wait it out to hear the news?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Johnny: I believed - and held onto him until now. Not any longer...

James (NYC)

Hi Stephania, I wait all week for your segment - Speculative Injury Question...Is Adam Jones still bothered by nagging leg injuries, hence the .218 average over the last month? Also is this an injury that will bother him for his career? I thought he was a 20/20 threat with potential for more. He seems like more of a 30/10 threat with the new beefed up body and lack of healthy legs.

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

James: Thanks for waiting...It's a reasonable question, but I don't see a definitive pattern there -at least not yet. I always worry that the hamstring things can linger - but there's been zero mention of it. He did have a bruised shin more recently but I see that as totally separate. Can't really explain the performance. Maybe need a little more time to see how the pattern evolves. I like your thinking though.

Derek (KC)

Arod still in pain? This why he has been struggling?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Derek: I have to go back and say I told you so on this one. I always projected that A-Rod's production would be subpar until sometime after All-Star break. It was too much to expect him to come back - quickly - and jump into midseason form. I do think they need to find a balance in terms of how much he plays, when he rests - and hopefully he's still doing all of his hip exercises and maybe should avoid staying out until 3 a.m. - but I think in the second half you'll see better performance.

Jon (San Diego)

Stephania, your insight into Beltre's bone spurs would be greatly appreciated.

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Jon: These can be really hit and miss (no pun intended). A lot depends on exactly where they are - which I don't know b/c we haven't been given that specific info)but if he keeps creating friction inside the shoulder that irritates him (and there has to be some going on for the spurs to have returned in the first place), then it will limit him. It really comes down to how he feels on a daily basis. Some days he may be completely stiff and sore and unable to go, other days he may be fine. Problem is you won't know what you're getting until after the fact. He'll probably need another offseason surgery.

John (Arcadia, OK)

Thanks for all the info on these other players. I have a question about Ervin Santana. Do you know when he will comeback? If not can you give an estimate? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Hi John: Well, problem is - I'd be guessing. They're calling it triceps inflammation, but he did have the partial ligament tear and I don't like the sounds of this. It depends how long it takes the inflammation to settle, could be days to weeks, and then whether he has any issues as he tries to resume throwing. I would expect him out at least 3 weeks, probably longer, and even then I'm not totally confident if he does return that this is the last of it.

Tom Sellicks "Stache" (LA)

Whats the latest on Grady Sizemore? Thank you for all your fine work Steph!

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Sizemore is doing well so far - but with him it's a wait and see. The test comes with repeated activity. The plan is to give him days off each week so as not to risk flaring things up as much. Really it will probably take a few weeks for SIzemore and the team to fully assess.

? (?-town)

Ryan Doumit??? When's he expected back and how much do you think he will contribute?

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

?? Last one - Doumit's timetable still remains mid-July - and I think he's still too far out in terms of progression to speculate how productive he'll be. In a couple more weeks after he's done more we should have a better idea.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

OK Gang - Have to run. Check out our updates on Fantasy Focus - have a great weekend - and keep your teams healthy!!!