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August 10, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:04 PM)

Hey all you Sports Nation fans. Thanks for coming by the injury chat. I am in FOxborough, sitting in the Gillette Stadium press box at this moment between Pats-Saints practices, thankful for the AC to keep cool.It's baseball AND football time now...can't wait to see what questions you all are bringing today.

Webmaster (Bristol)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The chat will go forward as planned even though Jacoby Ellsbury is not technically injured (as of 3 pm).

Stephania Bell
  (3:04 PM)

And we start with a little humor...

Kyle (Detroit, MI)

With the past surgeries that Brandon Marshall has had would you take Austin Miles over him in a PPR league?

Stephania Bell
  (3:07 PM)

Well Kyle, I can tell you this. I am sitting right next to Tim Graham, our awesome AFC East blogger who just came here from Dolphins camp and to quote him "Brandon Marshall looks like a monster." (As in the good, fantasy-point scoring kind. I think in Marshall's case there is little immediate concern related to his hip surgeries...in five years we may be thinking differently. Miles will be a frequent target to be sure, but I think when you rack up Marshall's receptions and yardage, he comes out ahead.

Matt (Plano,TX)

Can you explain why Justin Morneau is out for this long period of time? Is this a serious concussion?

Stephania Bell
  (3:11 PM)

Matt: Thanks for your question - gives me the opportunity to reiterate that all concussions are serious b/c each one represents an injury to the brain. That said, I appreciate what you're asking. The key to Morneau's return is zero symptoms at rest and with activity, amongst other things. He has an extensive concussion history making every additional injury that much more of a concern. While the team hasn't said much other than that "he's making progress" the fact that he's not traveling with the team, etc shows that there have to be some lingering symptoms and concerns present. No way to predict how long it will be, just have to hope that he does fully recover.

Frank (Worcester, MA)

What is the status on Morneau and Victorino?

Stephania Bell
  (3:13 PM)

Hi Frank: I'm in your neighborhood... We already updated Morneau, but Victorino is scheduled to start a rehab assignment today. If he progresses well through it the rest of the week, he may be activated Friday.

Jim (Seattle)

Stephania, can't be there during the chat, sorry. But, I am wondering if there's anything about Youkilis' injury that suggests he might not be ready by 2011? Still keeper material? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:17 PM)

Jim: Thanks for posting a question and checking the post later...My understanding is that surgery went well and he is expected to be ready for 2011. We all know that we're assuming that things go well along the way of rehab, but at this point there's no reason not to keep him (I would). Still, his injury was so unusual, it is not something we see in baseball so there aren't a lot of comps. But he will get great rehab and being the player he is, I expect a strong recovery.

Davey (OP, KS)

Obligatory Braun question time...back in a day or two or heading to the DL?

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

Davey: you have a popular question - lots of folks wondering about Braun. The Brewers are calling him day-to-day with a left wrist strain...which isn't telling us a whole lot. It's one of those things where if he's absent four or five days we should start getting nervous. Not a lot of help right now I know, but there isn't a lot more to go on.

Chris (Saratoga, NY)

It seems Wes Welker is far ahead of schedule and could be starting week 1. Is this realistic or are some people a little too optimistic?

Stephania Bell
  (3:23 PM)

Chris: Thanks for helping me plug my blog entry on Welker from today - should be posted soon. It's an unknown at this point. Listening to him talk, he mentally has a way to go before being game ready, but physically he looks fantastic. While I wouldn't rule Week 1 out, I am not yet prepared to say he'll be there for sure. For folks drafting soon, it's a bit of a gamble.

Your Friend (Bristol, CT)

Where have you been in the last week? I have not been able to find your updates on the latest injuries . . .

Stephania Bell
  (3:23 PM)

I was away...but there will be lots of content coming this week including two podcasts (baseball and football tomorrow)...

Chris (NY)

Do you buy the optimistic opinions of the Texans' staff that Owen Daniels will be ready to go week 1?

Stephania Bell
  (3:26 PM)

Chris: Not saying he won't be, but given that 10 days ago he was back to stationary bike b/c of some soreness, swelling in his knee, I think he has more to prove before we can be convinced. Obviously he has shown some signs of improvement lately for them to be feeling so cheery. I want a couple more weeks worth of evidence.

Edward (( Cleveland))

Hi Stephania---First timer here. I really enjoy your insight and expertise.I picked our friend Brian Roberts off of waivers 3 weeks ago and plugged him in replacing an under performer. I am looking to make a deal for Mr. Utley before Friday. What does your crystal ball tell you about both players going forward? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (3:31 PM)

Edward: Thanks for the kind words and I thank you for joining our chat. Roberts has been a nice pick-up for folks after a horrible extended DL start. Right now things look pretty good, especially if he can continue to get some intermittent rest, but with the type of disc injury he had, cannot really say he's out of the woods. Need to keep an eye on his daily status.Utley should be fine once fully healed. Trick is making sure he doesn't push himself back too soon. He wants to beat the 8 week target and return sometime in August but we'll see how his thumb cooperates. Don't be surprised if his actual return is pretty close to projected date...and may have to be patient with his power after the surgery and the time away.

Thor (SF)

Are you worried about Strasburg long term? I have him in a keeper league and I'm debating dealing him now...

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Thor: No more than I worry about any pitcher long-term. What he does is unnatural and most pitchers will break down. But this thing he's had recently to me is the result of him now exceeding what he'd been asked to do in a single season up until he turned pro. No major injury and the Nationals being smart with him will hopefully go a long way in keeping it that way.

Greg (NJ)

Yankees. Giants. World Series. Am I crazy?

Stephania Bell
  (3:34 PM)

Greg: Apparently Jonathan Sanchez doesn't think so. Love it!!!

Matt (Mountain View)

Hi Stephania: Thanks for the chat. Choose any one (or 5) you like to comment on: Utley, Hart, Pena, Beckham, Furcal. Times are tough :(

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Hi Matt in my hometown: We hit Utley, so I'll give you one more..how about some good news? Furcal made enough progress over the weekend to suggest that he is back in the lineup tonight. Not a lock..but encouraging...

jeff (Rochester, NY)

Any news on Gordon Beckham?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Jeff: I'm a little confused about Beckham. Originally reported as a moderate groin strain, but then he says he'll be back Weds - if not today. Seems like either the seriousness was overstated or he's coming back early. Might want to see if he comes back Tues/Weds how he looks. Very easy to setback a groin injury and then have a bigger problem.

Randy (PA)

Stephania, any particular reason there have been so many injuries, including those carted of the field, in the first week of training camp? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:42 PM)

Randy: Wish I had a good answer for you. I will tell you that most of us who have worked in sports med will say that early in pre-season training there seem to be a rash of injuries - not really sure why but there are multiple possible factors. Players returning to activity that they're not accustomed to, the adrenaline of trying to "perform" sometimes in front of other players/coaches, esp when competing, some not used to training at this intensity, injured when overly fatigued or dehydrated, etc, etc. Typically though the rate seems to slow down once you get further into camp, although in the case of football, when you get into preseason games and you have some of the same variables, the number goes up again. Not sure that we could statistically prove that the rate goes up, but it sure feels like it.

Dennis (Baton Rouge )

Prado?

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Dennis: Apparently Prado is doing pretty well in his recovery from a fracture in his pinkie finger. The swelling and the pain are improving. But whether that will be enough to allow him to return to play when eligible to come off DL is questionable. It's his dominant throwing and batting hand so he may need some additional time to get back to form...these headfirst slides are taking a toll this year.

Anthony (LA, CA)

Is a 15 Day DL stint enough for Geovanny Soto to recover from his shoulder strain?

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Anthony (and Drew and Dave); I'm not sure 15 days is enough. The reports I've heard are "ligament sprain" in his shoulder that bothers him with hitting more so than throwing. That sounds like instability in his shoulder to me and if that's the case, it doesn't just go away. First the irritation has to settle, then the shoulder muscles have to be strong enough to counter any sensation of instability or discomfort. If you can't get to a point where the strength can overcome that, they start looking at other options. I'm speculating some b/c the diagnosis is not crystal clear here, but the vagueness of it is precisely what makes me a little concerned. With the Cubs in such a bad spot, I don't see them rushing him, and the question then is how long it takes for him to truly recover.

Chad (Aspen, CO)

What is the chance that Elvis Dumervil returns by week 8 this season

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

Chad: He will not. Surgery will keep him out for the majority of the season and I suspect he will end up on IR.

Dan (Vermont)

Any updates on a couple of AL players on whom my Fantasy Playoff life may VERY WELL DEPEND: Carlos Pena and Andrew Bailey. Thanks, and sorry for the drama.

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Dan: Since when is a little drama a bad thing? I'm afraid my news on one front is not so good. Pena is on the DL with plantar fasciitis which tends to be a chronic condition. Two weeks rest, while it may help it, is unlikely to be enough to allow him to be pain-free, and makes the timetable for his return questionable to me. As far as Bailey, he is throwing some which shows progress from the oblique strain. But it still sounds like he is more than a week away from a return so factor that into your plans.

Joseph (ohio)

Pedroia really ready to return soon?

Stephania Bell
  (3:59 PM)

Joseph: Well, first things first. Pedroia is expected to test the foot today by running at full speed. We have to see how that goes. How does he run? How does the foot feel...both today and later after testing it? If all goes well, it's possible that he could be looking at a return sometime next week, but the outcome from today will tell us quite a bit.

Tim (Quincy, MA)

Any news on Pettitte? I think I heard he was supposed to throw a BP session recently??

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

Tim: He did - in fact, he threw one Friday and again, about 20 pitches or so Monday. So far, so good and it sounds like next up might be a sim game. Still taking it one step at a time, but for me, throwing from a mound without pain is a good test for the groin on his push leg. Now it becomes a question of upping the number of pitches and seeing if he still tolerates that well.

Barnabas (Sacramento)

Thanks for your time, Steph! Give me good news about Kinsler, I beg you ...

Stephania Bell
  (4:04 PM)

Barnabas: So sorry, but even begging can't make me lie to you...so far, things with Kinsler not sounding great and I doubt he returns when eligible b/c he simply hasn't tested the injury. I have not heard what the most recent MRI results are, so that may provide more insight (which hopefully I can share in the next day or two), but right now I'm not full of optimism.

Stephania Bell
  (4:07 PM)

So sorry everyone but it's time for me to run! And the Patriots and Saints are back at it in practice, so have to get back out there and watch some more...But the Wes Welker blog is up from today's morning practice for those of you who were wondering: http://espn.go.com/sports/fantasy/blog/_/name/bell_stephania/id/5452585/wes-welker-knee-holding-campAnd there will be lots more this week! So stay tuned...and stay healthy!