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April 27, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

  (3:04 PM)

Hi everyone:Guess what? I am taking a break form our intense fantasy football all-day rankings meetings to come chat with all of you - which by the way, I should thank you for...So glad to see you all here - let's get to your questions!!!

Adam (NYC)

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY SO PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION!!! Can we expect cliff lee to be at the top of game once he return? I'm in a pretty shallow league and would need to drop a pretty solid player in his place. also when can we expect jroll back. thanks!

  (3:06 PM)

Adam: Happy Birthday - and congrat on getting the FIRST answer of the day Cliff Lee has looked outstanding throughout his rehab - so I like him jumping right back in when he comes back. I'd start him right away if I had him. Jimmy Rollins initially thought it wouldn't be that bad b/c he started feeling better within a couple days. But then as he tried to increase his activity he realized that it was a little worse than he thought. I'm thinking between the first and second week of May.

Jason (Omaha, NE)

Good afternoon Stephania. In Tristan's chat yesterday he mentioned he heard "whispers of season ending" when discussing Carlos Beltran. Is it time to drop him from my DL spot in favor of Bedard? Thanks!

  (3:09 PM)

Jason: I think it's far too soon to write him off for the year. He went to visit his surgeon to see if he'd be cleared to run. He wasn't. While it might be disappointing, it's not that surprising. Dr. Steadman is knwon for being pretty conservative with these types of injuries - and given that his long-term health is of interest, that's not a bad thing. I never believed he'd be back in May - always thought it would be closer to June - and that's not out of the question yet. It's one day at a time with him...

Pat (Boston)

Hi Stephania,Can you comment on Ellsbury's injured ribs? I'm fearful this injury may drag on quite awhile from here.

  (3:12 PM)

Pat: I think the biggest thing about the CT scan is that it supports why Ellsbury was having so much pain. For some reason, four fractured ribs just sounds so much more impressive than four bruised ribs. BUT - the treatment is essentially the same - and it's symptom-based. So once he feels recovered enough pain-wise to be able to swing the bat, etc, then he can begin to do so. The good news is that bone heals well (typically takes about 4-6 weeks to completely heal - but he won't likely need that much time - and then once healed, it's a non-issue.

Greg (Missouri)

Stephania,Even if Ellsbury comes back, how long do you think it will take him to start stealing with cracked ribs?

  (3:14 PM)

greg: So as a follow-up, stealing may take a bit longer because there's the potential for a collision with stealing - meaning it will be less comfortable. They may not put him out there to run bases until he's further along...

Seth Conway Arkansas [via mobile]

When will kerry wood start his rehab assignment?

  (3:16 PM)

Hi Seth Conway: Wood has started throwing from a mound, has another bullpen shceduled for Weds and then may throw another before he goes on assignment. I still think you're looking at a couple more weeks before he has a chance of rejoining the team...and they have to be uneventful weeks with him throwing well.

Frank (Chicago)

How much time are you expecting Jorge De La Rosa to miss?

  (3:19 PM)

Frank: you are asking the most popular question of the chat. It's hard to be precise here b/c I can't tell you how extensive the damage is to de la Rosa's finger. They say that he has a torn flexor band - and are probably referring to the pulleys (which are ligamentous bands that help anchor the flexor tendons). The good news is that they are not recommending surgery at this point, but his finger has to be immobilized long enough for it to heal - which could be weeks. Then, after it heals, and his finger is stiff, he has to get his range of motion and strength back and then return to throw. Let's just say plan on looking at multiple weeks - well beyond the 15-day DL.

Mike (Long Island, NY)

Cruz's hammy......obviously a concern now.....will a DL stint be next?

  (3:22 PM)

Mike: This might be the second most popular question of the afternoon - something related to Nelson Cruz's hammy. We know that he exited Monday night's game after aggravating the injury (always the biggest worry with these things) - remember he called it a "cramp" when it first happened, clearly it's more than that. The team certainly won't want it to become even more serious. Since it's already been a week of problems, I'm not going to be surprised if he does end up on the DL. I would tell fantasy owners to be prepared for that.

Joe (Chicago)

Follow up to Frank's question, how did he hurt his flexor band just by normal pitching?

  (3:23 PM)

Joe: Yes, back to de la Rosa, my understanding is that he started feeling some numbness in the finger while pitching, some soreness - and they thought initially it was a bone bruise until further testing showed otherwise. There's so much tension on some of the flexor tendons withgrip, etc..just overloaded it apparently.

Cameron (Scottsdale, Az)

So its been over a year now since Brandon Webb has pitched in a real game, and theres never been anything structurally wrong reported with his shoulder. Is it becoming a possibility that this may be career ending?

  (3:26 PM)

Cameron: As much as Webb's undefined injury and lack of progress concern me, I think it's much too soon to call it career-ending. I am still hopeful that they can get to the bottom of what's ailing him and help him get on track. he just won't be on my fantasy roster while that's happening.

Dan (TX)

Huston Street soon? Had a chance to pick him up but had to drop current closer Morales and am feeling antsy about it. thanks

  (3:30 PM)

Dan: They're hoping to have him throwing off a mound this weekend at some point. If that goes well, then the progression is bullpens to rehab assignment, which could project to a return later in May if all goes well.

Mondo (SF Giants back yard)

Hey Stephania,Brian Roberts was just dropped in my league. Is his injury a long term issue that will keep him out much longer and will it linger the entire season?

  (3:33 PM)

Mondo: Roberts is another popular guy this afternoon. For those of you who are wondering, he will not be back when eligible to come off the DL. He was just cleared for light exercise last week and has a ways to go before getting to baseball activities and then return to play. For what it's worth, I'm keeping him on my bench as I still think he can come back and be very productive, but I'm counting on him being a month away...and I also expect that he may need more rest days than the next guy.

Jason (Maryland)

Hi Stephania,It's not my birthday and I am not writing anybody off....but I am starting to get concerned about Ryan Zimmerman's hamstring. I am a frustrated Nationals Season Ticketholder and Ryan Zimmerman owner....please discuss the lingering hamstring injury. Thanks

  (3:36 PM)

Jason: It's the nature of these injuries to be frustrating - for the player, the team, the fantasy owner - you name it. It looks to me like his hamstirng injury does not appear to be serious, no major tissue damage - but every time he "feels" it, in order to be cautious, they rest him. Allows him to be available intermittently without going on the DL, but avoids worsening. The problem is he may not really be performing at 100% so at what point do they just call it and put him on the DL? they may be evaluating that as we speak. If he doesn't progress beyond this up and down phase over the next week or so, I wouldn't be surprised if they forced him to sit out for a while to try to put it behind him.

Jason (Phoenix)

Is Brett Anderson's injury scare anything to be worried about? Thanks!

  (3:39 PM)

Jason: Any time I see "pitcher" and "elbow" in the same sentence it does make me a little nervous. According to the Chronicle, they were calling it a "cramp" although it's hard to cramp your elbow. At this point it does not sound like the team is ovelry concerned which is a good sign. Have to hope for the best - he is scheduled to try throwing today, so will depend how he responds to that test.

Hal (Enfield, MA)

Hi Stephania. How was Vegas?? I was excited to see Ian Kinsler begin playing in the minors. I understand high ankle sprains are sneakily hard to come back from, hence the long delay in him getting out there. But now that he is back, do you expect this problem to be mostly resolved? I know Kinsler may get hurt again with something else, but that's another issue!

  (3:43 PM)

Hal: Thanks for asking - Vegas was definitely fun. And nice and warm by the pool. Yes, it's encouraging to see Kinsler picking up his activity, but discouraging to hear him resigned to the fact that the ankle may be a problem for him all year. You have to believe this will impact his running ability - as in potential steals - and you are also concerned that he could easily aggravate a les than fully healthy ankle during the course of playing on it. So I think there's definitely some concern as to what exactly you'll get when he returns - which looks to be at the end of the month if he gets through his rehab assignment ok.

MC Welk (SLC)

Is Brad Lidge's elbow low-risk enough to merit a #2 waiver priority?

  (3:44 PM)

MC Welk: I'd be willing to pick him up for that.

Fred (New York, New York)

Stephania,I have been in a bad accident over a year ago and have tons of rehab and physical therapy as a result. I often end up discussing sports injuries with my physical therpaist. One person we discussed is Jose Reyes. My therapist contends that stealing bases will not be an issue for Jose since the only real worry for his hammy flaring up again would be running out an infield grounder since he has to make sudden fast bursts within a split second and you can also tweak your hamstring by coming to a stop after such sprints. If you remember last year this was the type of play he came up lame on last year. My therapist also says that since there is no stopping with the legs when it comes to stealing bases (steals end in a slide usually) that he minimizes risk for reinjury.I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

  (3:47 PM)

Fred: Sorry you have had to endure the rehab after a bad accident - not easy, but sounds like you've had a good physical therapist to help you out. I will say that I would differ though in saying that I do think basestealing poses a threat to Reyes. After all, any explosive movement - which you make when you take off stealing - places demand on the hamstring and has the potential to result in injury. It's true that the slide is less risky than the stand-up abrupt stop...but it can also be that an athlete suffers an injury when the tissue is finally overloaded - and it can come after a seemingly minor it's hard to predict exactly when it might manifest itself, if it does. No matter what, I just see Reyes as an increased injury risk with his hamstrings given his history.

Keary (Brooklyn, NY)

Looks like Fuentes is back, no?

  (3:48 PM)

Keary: yes - and I think he stays.

Ethan (PA)

I had the blessing of both Ellsbury and Manny starting in my outfield just a month ago. I already read your update of Ellsbury, but what's Manny's progress? It seems almost that Torre is just being extra careful, but is it possible that he misses serious time?

  (3:51 PM)

Ethan: I think this is the reflection of the medical staff not wanting this to turn into something far more serious. A larger grade muscle injury or concerns over a complete tear if he pushes it would make you want to rest the player. Better to get this completely healed and miss 15 days (or close to it), then have it turn into months..or worse, the season.

Matt (the bullpen)

Please update us on Bal Closer Mike Gonzalez. He is burning a key spot on my bench but if he will return and close in the next few weeks, I will continue to hold him.

  (3:53 PM)

matt: Wish I could help you but I have not heard more specifics since the visit with Dr. Andrews. My concern all along was that his injury was poorly defined and that it may have been a result of compensating. If he has to make adjustments to how he's throwing - and if he gets put on rest followed by a return to throwing program - then you're looking at 4-6 weeks. the team speculated three weeks - but after 2 weeks he was going to Andrews and hadn't thrown, so I'm thinking it's going longer.

Mickey (NY)

I broke my hand punching my computer screen when I saw Josh Beckett's performance yesterday. Is this an injury you see a lot in your field?

  (3:54 PM)

Mickey: I have treated more than one broken hand resulting from a punch thrown in frustration related to sports....

Justin (Boston)

Oswalt looks great...any concerns with him going forward?

  (3:57 PM)

Justin: yes, he does - and our thoughts go out to him and his family in the aftermath of the tornado. My concern with his back issues is that I doubt they're fully behind him. This will be something that has to be managed going forward. If you can put up with the possibility that he may be forced out intermittently if the symptoms return, then you can keep him in your lineup - b/c when he's good, he's really, really good.

Kevin (Charlotte)

Chris Young, the pitcher. Any lingering issues when he comes back? Thanks.

  (3:59 PM)

Kevin: Let's hope not. He's coming off the shoulder surgery - and actually, until this had not had any setbacks at all. The smart thing was to put him on the DL so that he would not be forced back too quickly and it sounds like he's feeling well. It's worth noting that it's normal for players to experience a setback or two as they return to throwing post-op. his just happened to come after the season started. But hopefully it will be a one-time thing

  (4:00 PM)

News Flash: Apparently Nelson Cruz just went on the DL...

John (Chicago, IL)

Bedard progressing? I haven't heard anything for a couple weeks.

  (4:01 PM)

Sounds as if they still are hoping to have him back in May...but we'll see how he progresses...

Oscar (Los Angeles)

In your opinion, what is an appropriate age for a person to begin throwing breaking pitches? What kind of negative effects are attached with starting too early?

  (4:03 PM)

Oscar: GREAT question - and great opportunity for me to point you to an article/video that I did which is running on ESPN's front page today. It;s related to the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign - and Dr. James Andrews is heading it up. Please check out the article and follow the link to the STOP website. It answers your questions and there are tip sheets related to all sports, including baseball and recommended throwing ages. Many, many injuries result from overuse or doing too much too young. It;s a very serious problem, so I thank you for asking.

  (4:04 PM)

On that note, it's time for me to leave - have to head back to the fantasy football rankings meetings. I wish you all a happy rest of your Tuesday - and may your players stay healthy!!