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May 11, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:04 PM)

Welcome to the Wednesday afternoon injury chat - we know there are plenty of guys with injuries - so hope you brought the questions...Let's go!

Jason (Long Island,NY)

Hello Stephania,Can you give me some insight on Jason Heyward's injury? Is it a serious injury? How long could he be out for?

Stephania Bell
  (3:09 PM)

Hi Jason: The problem is that right now there are only a couple of descriptions of symptoms from Heyward and nothing concrete to go on. We could end up speculating as to all the possibilities and without more info, it would be a futile exercise. Here's what we know. He says his shoulder has been bothering him since late spring training, worse the last week or so. Then last night, numbness in his hand and forearm. Numbness certainly hints at nerve involvement (although sometimes suggests circulatory issue). If it's nerve, the question becomes where is the nerve being compromised. His symptoms could implicate a cervical spine problem, amongst other things (and we know he has had some low back issues too). Could be two separate problems (shoulder and then hand/forearm) but that seems less likely, especially since in his own description he seems to link the two. We have to see what info we get over the next few days from the Braves - but I would at least be concerned right now that this could mean more than a day or two missed time.

Stephania Bell
  (3:09 PM)

And, Heyward's MRI reportedly to happen Thursday.

Cards Fan (Showdown at Wrigly)

Steph.....Love your analysis. I am concerned about Carpenter recently. I was curious if the typical TJ surgery has a length of time before it begins to wear and break down. Seems like Carp had some life to his pitches in the past 2 years and now it is somewhat flat. Maybe just a command issue early in the year, but.......

Stephania Bell
  (3:11 PM)

Thanks Cards fan...I would not read too much into this. It's worth noting that TJ surgery has a VERY low failure rate. Sometimes there are other shoulder issues (which Carpenter had previously) but I don't think this is an injury - and particularly not an elbow - issue per se.

Dan (Boston)

Stephania: Have you been on the phone to Chicago? Looks like Soto did an unfortunate split. Any idea how bad his injury is/how long he made be sidelined? You're the best...

Stephania Bell
  (3:14 PM)

Dan: Ever tried the rapid splits like the catchers have to do sometimes when making a defensive stop? If you imagine a popping or tearing sensation in the groin (I know, brutal), that is sort of what Soto experienced. Sounds like he was getting further workup - but given the demands of his position, the notion of a DL stint sounds quite possible.

Joe (Milw)

Steph....who comes back 1st, Hamilton or Utley?

Stephania Bell
  (3:17 PM)

Joe: Hard to say b/c both still have some hurdles to cross to be in major league games. Utley may actually make it back first believe it or not, but my big question - which I wrote about yesterday - is what happens when he is faced with the demands of playing day in and day out? Will he hold up? Can't believe I'm saying this - but I might have more confidence in Hamilton's ability to last throughout the season (even if he pulls or tweaks something else along the way).

Brian Hwang (The 92833)

Everyone, including you, noted how a broken hand, and in Domonic Brown's case, a broken hamate bone, would limit the power. So far he's hit 3 bombs in about a week and looks good as ever. Is he recovering that quickly or is there a wall he's going to be hitting soon?

Stephania Bell
  (3:22 PM)

Brian: Let's be clear. I said his power "could" be limited, not "would" be limited. I refrain from absolute projections b/c we never know exactly how an individual will respond. And that is based on the experience of other guys with a similar injury. Also, look at his total timetable and where he is. Remember the 4-6 week projection after his injury? I think (off the top of my head) he's around 8-9 weeks post -so you'd expect him to be swinging better. And the home runs are in the minors. Yes, he looks good - and the good news is that once he can swing without issue (which apparently he can), then there should be no regression. But he had only 1 hit in all his ST ABs when he got hurt, so part of this rehab is also getting his confidence back for a return to the majors.

Matt (Hoboken, NJ)

I haven't seen Adam Lind mentioned in any of your injury updates... any thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (3:24 PM)

Hi Matt: I think he made the cut to the blog recently - but then again, not sure. In any case, he's had back spasms and the team has taken a bit of a wait and see approach, not rushing him to the DL. It sounds as if he feels improved somewhat and is hoping to rejoin the lineup Friday. But still day-to-day.

James (Philly)

Stephy Badnews! Andrew Bailey may be back as early as next week. How soon can we expect good numbers from him as a closer?

Stephania Bell
  (3:27 PM)

James: I bet the A's are wondering the same thing. Even though the news is encouraging, it has been slow in coming. It sounds as if the A's are hoping that he will continue on track and be able to go on a rehab assignment soon. But I'd have very tempered expectations initially.

Jim (Belford, NJ)

Mauer!! What's the timeframe on MAUER!!

Stephania Bell
  (3:30 PM)

Jim: If you want to YELL at anyone, yell at the Twins. THey're not offering one, although given how vague the information around Mauer's condition has generally been, that's not altogether surprising. It's actually a benefit to the player -and the team as a whole - if those expectations are removed and they just focus on getting him back to normal strength. They say he will not return until he is ready to catch full time so don't expect it to be in the immediate future. Perhaps hinting at June, but again, they're staying away from predictions and with his unusual presentation, any of us on the outside would be randomly guessing.

Dan (NYC)

Stephania, My question is about Phil Hughes. If it is not TOS and there doesnt seem to be structural damage to the shoulder (that they have disclosed anyway), what is this? is this just a dead arm as a result of a large innings increase last year or is, as I fear, there is something more they are not telling us?

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Dan: Totally reasonable question - but I do not think that there is anything hidden. I think this is just a very puzzling situation. And you have to credit Yankees' MD CHris Ahmad with putting Hughes through a huge battery of tests to try to get to the bottom of it, including a consultation with a vascular specialist. Now that they've ruled out anything obvious, they start from scratch as if this was spring training all over again. But we don't know what the results will be this second time around.

Andrew (WI)

What should we expect from Jake Peavy tonight and the rest of the year from a health standpoint?

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

Andrew: I'm excited to see Peavy back on the mound. Really appreciated after talking with him in spring training just how hard he's worked to understand how to keep his whole body healthy. While he's had his share of injuries, he should be fully recovered from surgery, but it will be a big test of stamina, not only getting through a gmae but the consecutive outings. Time will tell.

Matt (SC)

Your message on Twitter last night eased my nerves knowing that Ike isn't on your teams, but do you have any news on him? Word is that he flew back to NY for an MRI, doesn't sound good.

Stephania Bell
  (3:37 PM)

Matt: Ha - of course at this point I have had my share of injuries on my own team! I would say this is the Yankees being cautious. Davis does not sound overly concerned but there's no reason not to get it checked out, especially with him limping last night. It may only serve to clarify the severity of the injury and not really alter the treatment, but that may help everyone get an idea as to when he'll be back.

Christian (Boise)

Any news on Kendrys Morales' "second opinion"? When should we expect him back?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Christian: I have not heard any report yet - but keep in mind that his visit was just yesterday. There may be some communication going between the parties to decide on the next plan before they update anyone. The big question I have is whether we'll see a major shift in treatment or rehab approach, or whether this will end up being a case of reassuring Morales that he is on the right path.

John (DC)

Hi Stephania, was there a final word on which option Chris Young is going with? He's most certainly done for this season, right?

Stephania Bell
  (3:40 PM)

John: Have not heard - but this is a huge and heavy decision for him. Not optimistic that we see him again this year.

Matt (Ann Arbor)

How do you expect Furcal to fair when he returns? And when?

Stephania Bell
  (3:42 PM)

Matt: Another one of those don't expect too much right out of the gate situations since it's a hand injury. He did say his legs and back were feeling good after the rest and more conditioning. They're holding him back from a rehab assignment until he can swing pain-free but it looks like that could come in another week or so.

Brian (PDX)

Johan Santana going to save my team this year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Brian: Don't count on it.

Dan (NY)

Can you talk a little about Oswalt? I know you wrote a piece on him and other Phillies earlier this week, but I'm wondering what you expect going forward. Are you concerned about his long-term durability this year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Dan: I think we have to keep in mind that this is a guy who has been through back pain (and radiating leg pain/weakness associated with it), epidural injections, etc. Disc problems can flare and subside, then stay away for lengthy periods, only to crop up again at random. Oswalt is not going to lose his talent (I don't think) anytime but he will continue to be at risk, even if it's on the low end, that it crops up again, becomes severe and causes him to miss a lot of time. The best thing the Phillies did was get him out quickly when it was a problem, not let it get to the most severe level.

Scott (Boston, MA)

reports lately suggest Hamilton has been ahead of schedule. How do you walk the line between "He's healing quicker, so he'll back soon" and "He's trying to get back too quickly, he'll reinjure himself"?

Stephania Bell
  (3:48 PM)

Scott: Great question. In his case, they wouldn't let him increase the vigor of his activity if the bone did not show sufficient healing. Presuming that has happened, once bone heals it is exceptionally strong. The bigger issue is making sure he has enough strength of the muscles around the shoulder. It's his non-dominant hand so he doesn't have to throw with it, just control the bat on follow-through. Still work, but not the same as having to repeatedly throw.

Bryan (CA)

What happened to Braun? Left the game for unknown reason

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

Bryan: All I'm hearing is it was after colliding with an outfield wall. No specific injury news yet.

Matt (Indianapolis)

Follow up on Morales, reading all of the updates about him are you sensing anything from the Angles point of view? Just seems to me that they may not be in line with everything that is going on and maybe questioning his determination to come back in shape or something to that effect. Sciosa says he is going to keep trying to run but not take batting practice until he can run, the next day morales says he is going to see a specialist, just seems bizarre to me.

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Matt: Welcome to my world. There are many variables at work beyond the actual specifics of an injury and the rehab. Trying to read the tea leaves is amongst them.

Phil (Tuscon)

Is LoMO all healed?

Stephania Bell
  (3:54 PM)

Phil: I think we can say he is healing. He's certainly made enough progress to be cleared to go on a rehab assignment. That was a huge positive sign because with the type of foot injury he had (Lisfranc sprain), they can be quite serious and slow to heal. So they're comfortable with him running and twisting through the foot while swinging the bat. Now it's getting the foot used to game situations and testing it under all conditions (and getting the rest of him prepped for resuming games). But the shortened downtime is a plus in terms of returning him to competition.

Jay (BROOKLYN!!)

Zimmerman!! how's he doin'???

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Jay: It's always quiet when a guy comes off surgery. He only had surgery a week ago so we're really not hearing much - other than it went well and the plan is still roughly six weeks.

Jeff (Rochester, NY)

Does it appear that something is wrong with Latos?

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

Jeff: The team and Latos insist this is just a slump. Period. No rhyme or reason for why it's happening. Lots of us talk about his workload. Also, he started the season with some inflammation. Should we be worried? I don't know about panic. I think it's possible he surges again within a month or so. Now if he continues to struggle, and this ends up being more than a phase, then I'll be worried too.

Mark (San Jose)

Any chance of a Delmon Young update? Only reason I ask is that I really need him back. Im a believer in him this year and think he'll turn the twins season around once he returns.

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

Mark: Sounds like they were hoping to get him back Friday - but they've been a little evasive. It took a while to get Young to the DL and given the short time frame you have to think this was really a minor oblique injury. Sure hope he doesn't end up rushing back - or it could mean a risk of him going right back out again.

Brian (Ohio)

What side of the trade would you want? Alexei Ramirez and Tim Lincecum or Stephen Drew and Trevor Cahill? I own Drew and Cahill, should I worry about Drew's injury?

Gary (KC)

Why was Miguel Cabrera pulled from the game a couple minutes ago??? Is he hurt???

Stephania Bell
  (4:03 PM)

Brian: I'm biased towards anything with Lincecum in it. I've been concerned about Drew's injury since spring - and have been given a hard time about that when he was producing well. My concern was always that this was not completely behind him - and I suspect it's still not. But sounds like he will continue to fight through it, at least for as long as he can.

Stephania Bell
  (4:04 PM)

Oops - out of order, but to alleviate fears, apparently Cabrera was thrown out for arguing a called strike, not b/c of injury. Breathe.

Stephania Bell
  (4:06 PM)

OK gang - time for me to leave. The hour flew by thanks to your awesome questions and thoughts. You have given me some good ideas for topics later this week too. Thanks so much for coming. Drop a note in my mailbox (link is at my blog). And follow along on Twitter!! Stephania_ESPNPodcast tomorrow, Fantasy FOcus Friday (video) this week. Stay healthy!!