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September 4, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Good morning Sports Nation. I am on the injury list this morning with one of those late summer colds. Aren't they annoying? But nothing could keep me away from this your excellent questions. So here we go...

Gabe (NJ)

Good Morning Stephania. You responses in the chats are always the most thought out and inciteful of all the "chatters", and I always enjoy it. But can you please explain to me how Rodgers is a sleeper? He's going awefully high in drafts. Does "sleeper" mean that he'll be better than the QB's drafted ahead of him? When we hear "sleeper" - we want bold predictions. Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Gabe: Why thank you - and thank you for your thoughtful comment. My colleague Brendan Roberts who has been publishing our collective fantasy sleepers and busts does a pretty good job of outlining that (I think). And in the guidelines he gave to us, a sleeper really is someone who you get value for, as in he'll be better than what you pay for him. There are flyers - the really bold predictions - as in take a chance in a late round (super deep sleeper) and it could pay off. But in our lists, it's really in terms of trying to maximize the value of your draft.

kc (oakland)

Anything new on MJD?

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

KC: Waiting on MRI. So far x-rays negative, shin contusion (deep bruise) - the concern would be if there was actually bone bruising, and/or muscles on the front of the leg that could have bleeding and require rest. Wait and see as of right now.

Bud (San Francisco)

Pablo Sandoval is playing but hobbled with a calf injury - how long does it take for a calf injury to heal, and how much does the Panda's, um, weight play into the recovery? Thanks for the great work!

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Bud - I miss my hometown but am rooting for those Giants! And yes, you can clearly see that the Panda is limited in running, but they need his bat. The healing time varies greatly depending on the degree of injury, but trying to play hurt can impede the healing as well. Now clearly the medical staff evaluates the risk and determines whether they think it is significant enough to hold him out or not. Never really know for sure but have to go based on how player feels/functions. And yes, his size certainly impacts the force required to push off, more stress on the calf.

tom (hackensack)

Any updates on TO.E? What do you expect from him this year? nagging injury all year long?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Hi Tom: Well, he's certainly saying the right things, but clearly he's still being progressed back, they're monitoring it, etc...all things that indicate this is not totally behind him, which is typical of how these toe injuries behave. The Bills have to hope that all the rest early on minimizes the strain on the toe and helps ensure that he's healthier during the season, but I see this as something that could easily flare up during the season - a misstep, another player stepping on it, you name it.

matty Ice (Enola, PA)

What is the word on Pierre Thomas MCL injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Matty Ice:Coach Payton seemed very positive on his progress and that he would be ready for Week One. The thing with an MCL sprain in a RB is that it's the ligament on the inside of the knee, so it gets stressed whenever a player cuts to the inside. In other words, the test will really come when he returns in that first game. The extent of healing depends on how badly he was injured in the first place, which we don't know. He could be fine, but it could be problematic. At the very least I expect that his play will be more controlled in that first outing until the Saints are sure that he's good to go.

Mike (FL)

Hi Stephania, does anyone other than Belichick know what the status of Wes Welker is? I'm getting nervous about the 100 catch wonder.

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Mike: Other than the folks treating him, no one knows, b/c they share nothing, which is within their rights until injury reports are required Week One (and even then we get very little). So we take our clues where we can, He was dressed for the warmups before the game last night, so even though he didn't play, it suggests he could have. I'm optimistic that this is not terribly serious.

Tyler (VT)

Star Bell, I invested a fairly high pick on Warner, and now I am questioning my pick. Will he be fully recovered from the hip injury, and will it reduce his ability to move in the pocket? One hit and I could see him out...

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Tyler: Certainly a good question, especially since Warner himself has admitted that his hip doesn't feel 100%. But interestingly, the things that still bother him are more when he's standing still, walking, NOT when he's running, dropping back in pocket, etc. SUggests that when his hip is slightly flexed, which is more how he'll be when playing, that it's less of an issue. Keep in mind that this is something that should continue to improve over time, unlike a muscle injury for instance. The surgery itself should be well healed and it's just a matter of him getting all the mobility and strength back. I worry more about some other contact injuries, hand and elbow like he's had before.

Roberto (NY)

Starphania! What say you about Kuroda's post-concussion start on Sunday? Is it all systems go? Will there be a watchful eye on him? They dont need pitch counts with concussions do they?

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Hi ROberto: Great question. Let me tell you that the Dodgers' medical staff is one of the finest. And they would not take ANY chances with a concussion. In order for him to be cleared he not only has to be symptom-free with all activities, his IMPACT tests (which measure neurocognitive function) have to be fully back to baseline. So you can have every confidence that all that has already happened or they would not slot him to start. And naturally they will watch him (the adrenaline of a game, etc in the first time out), but no specific pitch count is in order.

Joe (NYC)

Without a DL spot as a option do you think its safe to drop M Young? How long do you think it will take for him to get back and be effective?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Joe: Let's put it this way - it's a gamble if you keep him. Sooooo hard to predict return time on a hamstring. The Rangers say it will be 2-3 weeks, which tells you it was at least a moderate strain. They also indicate that he will receive a platelet injection (I've written about this in my blog as they used it with Chad Billingsley in L.A.) and the goal is to accelerate the healing process. There is certainly a chance that he returns in September, but there are no guarantees - so in your case it really depend what options you have - but expect him to be out on the 3 weeks side rather than two.

Anthony (NY)

How would you value Michael Vick in fantasy drafts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Anthony: I wouldn't really - b/c we don't know how/when he'll be used, he won't play until Week 3 and if I couldn't get him for free on waivers, I'm not interested. But I think he does impact Westbrook's fantasy value. After seeing him take the snap and rush for a TD last night, I think they could run the same play in season with Westbrook on the field, defense doesn't know who will take it, Vick keeps it and gets the points, not Westbrook.

Joe (NYC)

You posted the question with no answer.

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Try refresh when this happens (it seems to happen fairly frequently) and then it should show up (technical issue it seems). B/c I actually posted a fairly lengthy answer.

Travis C. (Lake Highlands)

Stephania, does it look like David Wright is good to go for the rest of the year, no worries about the Mets sitting him in the last weeks?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Travis: Sort of like Kuroda. Wright had to be cleared similarly to play. Unless he should have some recurring sx (which once past the episode would be highly unusual), he should be good to go.

Craig (St. Paul)

I got both Donnie Avery and Nate Washington in the mid rounds based on their bumps and bruises. Will those injuries cause me to regret either one?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Craig: Nate Washington is still recovering from the hamstring and is not a lock for Week One. As long as you check the lineup and have another plan, you're fine, and I think that as long as he has healed enough from this before they play him (which it sounds like is the goal) he's clearly got value. Avery playing in the first couple series Thursday night is a huge sign and he actually is ahead of the schedule planned for him, so he should be ready for you Week One - and this being a bone injury, once healed should be a non-issue.

Jacob (Houston, Tx)

Hey Steph, what's the word on Jonathan Stewart? Will he be ready to go by week 1, and how will his Achilles impact his usage during the season? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Jacob: Boy, this has been a discouraging preseason for Stewart. Still has soreness in his Achilles and still has not practiced, although he says he will be ready for Week One. I have to think that all the rest is designed to help make this as much of a non-issue as possible during the season, but it's an overuse injury, so if he overuses it, it will act up. Translation - I think his use, even if he plays early, will be limited as a result. Have to hope that it can gradually improve to the point where they can use him as hoped as they get deeper into the season.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

Can you please provide your thoughts on Josh Hamilton's latest injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Mike: Sounds like they're calling it a pinched nerve - usually means there's an inflamed disc causing pressure (either from the swelling or the disc itself) on a nerve leading to pain radiating into the leg. He had an anti-inflammatory injection and they're waiting to see how that impacts his symptoms. Hard to say b/c since it came on quickly, it may actually clear up fairly quickly, at least enough to allow him to contribute for the remainder of the season. But they're being honest about day-today, b/c literally they evaluate how he feels daily. I would be surprised if he returned before a week, and of course it could go longer. Just keep checking team updates b/c really no way to predict.

Brandon (Columbus)

Seems like Mark Clayton has had a lingering hamstring injury for about 4 years. Any chance this guy gets and stays healthy this year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Brandon: You've picked up on something I always tell people to look for which is an injury trend. Repeated soft tissue injuries are always a concern, especially hamstring. And the more it happens, the less likely they are to be "100%" ever again. Doesn't mean they can't return and be productive but certainly makes it more likely that they risk re-injury. With him having a partial tear, I think it remains a concern, even after he comes back.

Tyler (VA)

What do you think of Huddy the rest of the way, is he worth a spot start with matchups?

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Tyler: Absolutely. I've been hinting at that in my blog each week as he was nearing a return. He has looked great - and although guys coming back from this type of injury have to be allowed some ups and downs, I think the fact that his "season" will be short is great for him.

Jay (NYC)

Happy Friday! Is Theriot hiding an injury? He stopped running and hitting a while ago.

Stephania Bell
  (11:42 AM)

Jay: I think it's a random mixed bag. He had a virus, then a bruised knee, then this week bruised his shin (I believe), so hasn't fully been himself. But nothing major.

Mike (NJ)

Any word on Matt Schaub? or Orton's finger?

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Mike: Schaub apparently had a minor ankle sprain and is prepared to play opening day. I'm not particularly worried about that one. Orton is a little more of a concern. I think in general this has been dismissed as no big deal, but your index finger is pretty important when it comes to throwing a football. The stitches have to heal and then he has to get some movement back and be able to guide and grip the ball. So I think questionable for Week One, but should be fine once he gets that back - prob fine by Week Two for sure.

Bud (San Francisco)

My theory on Theriot is that he has a bad case of notverygooditis...

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Now that is a very interesting diagnosis...

Al (DC)

Stephania, how is Westbrook looking these days? I have McCoy so wondering how much work he will see.

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

The Eagles maintain that Westbrook is doing well and on schedule to return Week One but I assume they will ease him back into action after doing nothing all preseason. My take on McCoy is that he will consistently get some action, probably more as the season progresses, but not a ton of work off the bat. If Westbrook struggles though...

Jeff (Portland, ME)

Just read an update on Micheal Young. Says it is a muscle strain rather than the tendon. Supposedly a muscle heals faster than a tendon. Can you please explain, Stephania. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Jeff: Great point. Yes, muscle has better blood supply so it tends to heal faster when the damage is in the muscle vs at the tendon where it attaches to the bone. That being said, it also depends on just how bad the injury was. Lots of bleeding means more time for that to clear, and then the hope is that the tissue does not form excessive scar. So yes, typically muscle heals faster, but still some hurdles in the healing process for a good outcome.

cary (south carolina)

Stephanie i have "Big Ben" as my starter. Do you think that his injury in the pre season is going be something that wikk maybe come back to haunt him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Cary: Nope. Just appeared to be a bruise and it's not bothering him at all now.

Brian (Pittsburgh)

Can Carlos Beltran be effective if he comes back next week? Can he steal bases?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Brian: THis is a HUGE question mark for me. I know he's run the bases now, and he's been felling much better - all encouraging. But he has not been playing games day in, day out, doing all the things required in the course of a game. ANd he's been out for months. WHen you come back and have to put all that together on consecutive days, that's when it will really test him. I would not be prepared to count on him, just more curious to see how he holds up.

Rob (State College)

Hey Stephania - Always great to get your insights! You are the secret weapon in any league! I'm curious, in the context of recovering from a verifiable injury under the care of a reputable physician, why is something like a platelet injection not considered as a "performance enhancer" when HGH is? Doesn't seem to make sense to me.

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Rob: Awesome question. Hope to do a bigger piece on this during the season. Simple chat size answer: Because HGH is a synthetic hormone. Platelets are your OWN blood product. They simply separate out the cells that aren't especially helpful in healing and concentrate platelets (which have healing factors in them that help accelerate the repair process) in the area of the injury (by administering via a local injection). This is an amazing medical development with great early results, will likely be THE big development in sports medicine of the next decade.

scott (ny)

Whats up with Boldin's hammy?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Scott: Remember he's had hamstring issues in the past. Cardinals not making a big deal out of this and plan to have him for Week One. I keep it in the back of my mind as a potential recurring issue for him - not a huge worry - but something to be aware of.

Chris (Teaneck, NJ)

You're the best! Please discuss Knowshon Moreno.

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Chris: No you are!! Moreno is doing well. As of last week he was doing drills that focused on lateral agility against resistance, a good sign that the MCL is healing well and allowing him to stress it with lateral motion, the last thing to "test" before returning to football. Sounds like he is good to go for Week One. As I said about THomas, the big test comes in game time and with taking hits, but I like where he was 2 WEEKS BEFORE the game, so I think he's ready.

Bud (San Francisco)

Quick one: LT, go or no go for Week 1?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Bud: GO!

Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)

Stephania, thanks as always for the great chat! I need every save I can get and am looking at Franklin Morales. The current word on Huston Street is biceps tendinitis and he'll be back in a few days. What are the chances it could be longer than that?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Hi TOm TUttle in Tacoma: Nice alliteration...I think chances are good that it's longer. THe biceps is so critical to a pitcher and inflammation there rarely resolves in a few days, at least enough to allow the strain of pitching. So I would not be at all surprised if it indeed takes longer for Street to return.

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

THanks everyone for coming! I need to vacate the chat room now- but great questions, as always. We'll be doing this every Friday right here at 11, so please come back. Have a great Labor Day weekend - and stay healthy!!