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May 4, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

ESPN
  (11:06 AM)

Stephania Bell will be joining the chat momentarily, so please keep the questions coming. Thank you.

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Good morning all. Sorry for the delay. Been doing some work related to the sad Mariano Rivera news. Torn ACL - and meniscus according to him - and all expectatiosn are done for the year. But is he done done, as in career? No decision yet, but let's not write him off. It will all come down to whether he really has it in him to return or if he sees this as a signal to move forward.

Chris (Richmond, VA)

What's the word on Ryan Braun? He left early last game, but since the Brewers didn't play yesterday nobody has really talked about it! HELP!

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Chris: When he left the game early we heard it was due to a sore Achilles. The implication was that it was not that serious but these things can linger. No word yet on status for the weekend but this is the type of thing I worry about cropping up later...and more seriously.

andy (ohio)

Who's return's first: Evan Longoria or the Sad Panda?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Andy: Could actually be very similar time frame. Panda's I think is more predictable. Missed about 6 weeks last year, fairly standard, barring a setback. Longoria is dealing with a hamstring, obviously serious enough to warrant an initial timetable of over a month -and there's so much variability in how guys heal, risk of setback, etc, so they may come back at same time but Panda more likely to hit the exact timetable.

Dave (Wolcott, CT)

Do you expect Doug Fister to turn to pre-injury form?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Dave: Yes - if that rehab outing Weds was any indication. 4 scoreless innings, looked good - and says he felt great the next day (key). So you hope this is behind him, but I'd think he should be truly ready by Monday.

Jimmy (Jersey)

Hey Stephania... any concerns about Justin Morneau's wrist rest of season? Thinking I should drop him...

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Jimmy: Certainly there is reason for concern, just given that it cropped up again. But not sure I'd rush to drop him. The results of his visit with the MD showed it wasn't as bad as initially feared and he was hitting the ball well before the pain increased.

Bryce (Mississippi)

What's the deal with Carl Crawford. Some say he will miss three months others say less than three months. How long?

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Bryce: Crawford is the one saying less than 3 months - but he also said he'd start the season on time following the wrist surgery. I don't fault an athlete for being optimistic. It's what mentally pushes them towards a target date. But with a partial UCL tear, they are going to shut him down from any activity for a period of likely 4-6 weeks. Then he has to build up and see how it responds. TO even get to game shape, assuming no pain in the elbow, will take him towards the 2.5-3 month mark.

j.l. (Bangkok)

Stephania,A couple quick questions,Rays moved Farnsworth to 60-day DL. Originally was supposed to be only a couple weeks. What has changed?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

j.l.: Yes, that caught my eye when they made the Longoria - injury related moves. Farnsworth was on the DL for elbow soreness and this is something he dealt with last year. So if it was hanging around after the offseason and into the spring, you have to believe it would require more than a couple weeks. And to be fair, the team hinted at longer than 15 days. But 60 is quite a bit longer. And it's an elbow. In a pitcher. We'll know more once he starts throwing (which hasn't happened yet).

Sam (CT)

What's up with Brad Lidge? Some say he'll be back in 3 weeks? Is this true?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Sam: No. 3 weeks is when he can pick up a ball and start throwing. If all goes well, plan on a couple weeks after that.

Jim (KC)

Any concerns with Zimm coming back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Jim: I think if he hits today (as he's scheduled to do) and there are no issues today or tomorrow, then we can feel pretty good. I say "pretty good" because he reportedly hurt his shoulder making diving plays. He is not going to stop making diving plays. Leaves open the possibility that it flares up again but I still think if he's back, I put him in my lineup.

Ben (Littleton, PA)

Thanks for helping us sort all these injuries out! How do you feel about Chris Young returning to form after his shoulder injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Ben: Why, thank you! I think he can (although he was hitting out of his mind when he got hurt and it might take a while to get back into the groove). The issue is allowing the AC joint to really scar in and heal so there aren't lingering symptoms. He did hit off a tee several times this week but there's been no formal timetable put forward since. He was expected all along to miss more than the 15 days but at this point it's hard to project when the target return date will be.

Gary (Omaha)

Is Youkilis' injury something to be very worried about? Sounds like they are saying it shouldn't be a long term thing.

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Gary: Here's why I'm worried. The back was an issue last year. Back problems are chronic. Youkilis is not getting any younger. Youkilis made efforts to alter his offseason routine to try to stay healthier this year - and he had the sports hernia repair (which should have helped with core stability, something that would in turn help him protect his back). And yet, one month into the season and his back already has him on the DL. Just not encouraging. Even if this episode is short-term, expect more like it through the year.

Todd (Philly)

Can we expect Lance Berkman to return at some point next week, or should we be cautious in setting a weekly lineup to include him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:42 AM)

Todd: St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporting that Berkman could play this weekend, just not today. I'm still a little apprehensive though as he has not run sprints yet and we know he already had a setback early (which is how he landed on the DL). And, the Cards have Craig now so can afford to be quite patient with Berkman. I'd want to see him first before I put him in my lineup.

Mike (WI)

Is Storen still on track to come back before the all-star break? Any setbacks in his rehab?

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Mike: I think it's still a hope - but the team not setting a specific timetable. RIght now most of his work has been getting ROM, which he says is much improved (as it should be, after getting bone removed that's typically what happens) - but he's a ways off from testing it with any throwing. Naturally until that happens we won't know what his progression is.But at least we know he's feeling better.

Brandon (RI)

Any word on my McCutchen left the game yesterday? Do you expect him to return to the lineup tonight?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Brandon: "queasy stomach" - no word on tonight yet but at least sounds like not a long-term thing

Derek (New Jersey)

Do we have a timeline on David Aardsma's return?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Derek: Not much update on him. On 60-day DL now (post-TJ surgery). Think we might hear more as we approach ALl-Star Break.

Jeff (NY)

Is Gamel officially out for the season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Jeff: Not sure if anyone has declared it absolute. More than likely to miss the rest but they can leave it alone for now.

Red (Portland)

For those of us hoping for 30-40 steals from BJ Upton--will he soon have a clean bill of health?

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Red: Not sure of total clean bill of health until we see him running the bases without issues. He won't start tonight but vcould be available off the bench.

Richie (Port Saint Lucie,Florida)

Hi Stephania...Should i be concerned with Josh Beckett's lat muscle or will it only be 1 start that he misses.Thanks you do a great job.

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Richie: Thanks so much. Everyone in Boston seems to think it will only be one start. But it's a lat. If it turns for the worse it can set you way back (think Morse). If it was just some tightness after throwing a lot of pitches in his last start, then he should be ok. Wish I could guarantee it for you, but we also heard Youkilis was fine, then wasn't. Boston needs some good news, hopefully this is everyone just being cautious.

John (NY)

Will Josh Hamilton be back in action today?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

John: That's the word.

Jeff (NY)

Sorry to ask a weekly question but here goes: Anything new on Utley? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Jeff: That's OK - you're not alone. Same with Howard. Both progressing...some. I wrote a post on it this week with more detail if you search it on fantasy baseball page.

Adrian (Las Vegas)

Corey Leubke, elbow tightness, concerned?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Adrian (and many others asking about him): Always concerned when a pitcher complains of elbow tightness and soreness. Padres haven't given us much. We know the DL means missing two starts - but we don't know if he'll miss more. No throwing progression outlined and they may just be waiting for the elbow to fully settle before saying much of anything. But yes, concerned until proven otherwise.

Paul (Cincinnati, OH)

What's the word on Beltre? You think he's back in the lineup tonight?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Paul: Expected to be but you'll want to check lineups beforehand.

Bob (Fort Lauderdale)

Am I the only one in the world who's worried about Josh Johnson? His velocity is way down. What's wrong with him?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Bob: You are the only one :)No, naturally everyone is concerned - but I think we're seeing some shifts after over a year of not being healthy and him making adjustments. I actually spoke to him a week ago when Marlins were in NY and he insists his shoulder feels great. No post-throwing soreness like he had (for a long time) before. I'm not too worried...yet.

Tim (Maryland)

Any update on J. Upton's thumb other than he has been mashing lately? Do you think he has put this one behind him?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Tim: Sure looks that way! Of course if he hooks it on a bag in a headfirst slide then all bets are off. But so far, so good.

Jon (NYC)

Your thoughts on Rivera; any chance he pitches again?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Jon: I think if he wants to, he will. That will be the deciding factor.

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

And on that note, thanks so much for joining. It has been a crazy week of injuries in all sports between D Rose, T Suggs, M Rivera and everyone in between. Go have a happy and healthy weekend folks! See you next week.