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June 15, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Mike (Boston)

Fister is coming off the DL and pitching Saturday. Im behind in alot of pitching categories this week thanks to Matt Cain, should I start Fister or wait to see how he does before activating him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Mike: I'm sorry you're behind, but as I'm sure you must know, not sorry about the happy for Matt Cain...anyhow, with regards to Fister, I'd wait. This is the second go-round with this injury and even a few days ago he was still having stiffness. Apparently they think he's OK, but I'd want to see the evidence first, even if it means missing a quality start should it happen to go that way.

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

And, I forgot to say good morning!! That's what happens when you start on Pacific Time. I'm happy to be chatting with you from CA where I have been lucky enough to catch some great Giants action and even took in a beautiful day of golf (there's this US Open thing going on here). Now headed to L.A. and writing from the lovely SF airport...

Marty (CA)

How soon can we see Chris Carpenter back on the mound?

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Hi Marty: Well, I suppose technically we can now say we've seen him on the mound, at least enough to throw some fastballs at less than full power. In other words, an encouraging sign that he was back out there but clearly is still far removed from returning to any form of competition. I still think we're looking at over a month, maybe two and that's dependent on no setbacks.

Rob (State College)

Stephania - Happy Friday! If you could take my question before I have to take my own Stephania for a doctor's appointment, I'd appreciate it. Do you think Kevin Millwood should be well enough recovered from what seems to be a mild groin strain to pitch well at home tomorrow? Or is that the kind of injury where you want to see him make a good start before throw him in your line up? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Hi Rob: Hopefully we're getting to you in time. This is one of the injuries you really don't know how to trust from a distance. The team cleared him, so they believe he can get through a start, but it's only been a few days...meaning the start will be the biggest test since he was removed with the injury. If it's me, I wait a start. Need the evidence he'll get through it. And I highly doubt he would come out right away with the kind of performance that he had last game.

Drew (Little Rock)

First of all ... Go Giants! #RaisingCain Can you tell me what's going on with Drew Stubbs? Headed to the DL?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Drew: See you have a question about your namesake. All I can tell you is that he's done some work (hit off a tee, light throwing, running) but hasn't taken BP and I don't believe that is set to happen until the weekend. Team has not indicated a DL move but it doesn't mean it won't happen. As we've seen with these oblique injuries, rarely is it a matter of just a few days except in the most minor of cases. Austin Jackson was moved to DL after taking BP. Just sayin'

Pat (Boston)

Uggg...Tulo! Why!!! Please tell us you have good news...

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Pat: I don't have any news (isn't that what they say is good news?), although I don't think this is good news in this case...Tulo was scheduled for an MRI Thurs but have not heard yet what the results were. The issue will be whether there is some new structural damage and then how long does he need to rest before they restart a rehab assignment (and is there additional treatment ahead first). Very hard to project at this stage, especially given that this latest thing came as a setback. Certainly not going to push him (I wouldn't think) out of the gate...

Bill (The 47905)

Have you ever considered a career in which you could bring the good news instead of bad news? Or is your next career as a TV meteorologist in tornado alley?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Bill: Sometimes I bring good news. It is my favorite kind of news to bring. Unfortunately, I am outnumbered by the injury gods...

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

When will we see Brett Gardner & David Robertson Back with the Yankees?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Chris: Well, Dave Robertson is on his way back. Should be in the Yankees bullpen this weekend. He'll be a setup guy initially and then they'll see how it goes. As far as Gardner, the good news is there's nothing surgical on the horizon. But the repeat setbacks, follow-up consultations showed it really hadn't haled. He had a PRP injection which means a period of rest, then resumption of the rehab program. I'm assuming it will be at least another few weeks before we're thinking about him returning.

Logan (Fla.)

Stephania any new news on how far away S.Drew and D.Storen are from being performance ready? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Logan: Storen has been throwing from a mound and so far no soreness but he's not throwing quite at 100%. The hope for him is that he can return around the All-Star Break. At least with being a closer he can approach being competition ready a bit quicker. Drew is set to play 3 consecutive games this weekend which will be a big test for his ankle. One of the problems has been soreness and stiffness in the ankle after increasing his workload. If he does well over the weekend, then look to see his overall work go up and possibly approach a return late June, early July.

Cindy (Maimi)

Can't find any updates on Ted Lilly. What can you tell us about Ted? Love your work, Stephania!

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Cindy: thank you! But there isn't much to update. We heard there was no significant structural damage - which is good - but it also means you're working on addressing a sore shoulder with perhaps no specific origin. Makes it hard from the rehab side to predict a timetable. And it sounds as if not much has changed with regards to how Lilly is feeling. My presumption is that Dodgers have him focues on rest and rehab for the shoulder now and until he resumes some type of throwing, we won't ehar much in the way of updates.

jeff (bartlett)

any word on Cespedes? they say he may DH this weekend, i find that doubtful

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Jeff: I'm with you. Or at least I would be surprised if he does. Sure, there are not the defensive demands on his leg if he just serves as DH. But you still have to run. You still risk aggravating the injury rounding the bases. And the reason he's even being talked about in this capacity is because he has already aggravated this injury once! It seems they're reluctant to place him on the DL but I am far from confident that his leg will hold up if he doesn't see some more down time.

Ryan (Philly)

How serious is this Brandon Morrow injury? How long should we really expect him out? Speaking of Brandon's, I have Brandon McCarthy as well, any extended info from his MRI? Should I be worried that his season could be over sooner than later? Thank you!!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Ryan: Well, the Jays are staying away from a timetable but we've seen these pitche robliques average just over a month. So plan on that. As far as MCCarthy, nothing significant on MRI (doesn't mean it was perfectly clean, but there's nothing dramatic they want to share). Sounds as if he may throw a bullpen soon (so far he has played catch and done ok). Once he gets back on the mound should be easier to consider a return time. Naturally always worry about a shoulder issue with a pitcher but have to go with how he's functioning and not the what-ifs. And right now he appears to be making some early progress.

Mike (Boston)

Football Question! What do you think of Charles??? I wanted him badly last year but thankfully couldnt get I crazy to think he'll return to form and be a beast/awesome 3-4 round grab?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Mike: His latest quote: "When they take the cape off me, I'll be ready to go." Sounds like he has no lack of confidence about being ready. The advantage to his injury coming so early is that he has had plenty of rehab time. And he expects to be cleared Monday for training camp. BUT, my word of caution is just historically the numbers for RBs in their first year back from ACL surgery is that they tend to take a big dip and it takes until year two to return to form.

Ryan (NY)

Two part question for Ellsbury: When is he due back, and will he be hampered by the injury when he does come back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Ryan: Lots of Ellsbury questions along these lines. The general feeling is that the time frame looks to be around the All-Star Break. Obviously until the rehab assignment happens, we're speculating to a degree. He is taking swings, not only off a tee but off of soft-lobbed tosses but not yet hitting against full-speed pitching (which would obviously increase the vigor of his swing). And he needs to get to the point of doing aggressive defensive work before he can go out on assignment. You'd like to believe that all the work still to go would take him to a point of not being hampered when he returns, at least at the plate. I worry more about the unexpected things. How will his shoulder affect his willingness to dive for a ball to make a play, his willingness to slide, all the reactionary things. It may take a bit of actual playing time for him to get comfortable doing those things.

Randall (SD)

What's the prognosis for Ellsbury ROS? Is he susceptible to future shoulder injuries or is this a thing of the past given he's 100% healed?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Randall: to follow on the last post, the presumption is that if everything has healed as it should, then he should be good to go. Sometimes however, the tissue damage incurred during an initial incident such as this can lead to instability, even of a subtle nature. If that is the case, then sometimes there is the option of a follow-up surgery to help address that. But again, there is no reason to think right now that that would be something to worry about.

MeisterNJ (Mendham)

Will Kemp's and Longoria's hamstrings be a chronic problem for them (i.e. Adrian Beltre)? Doesn't pulling a hamstring increase the chances of re-injury later on?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

MeisterNJ: You're right that we worry about subsequent injury following a significant hamstring strain. Minor strains come and go but once there is enough damage to cause scarring, that tissue is not as pliable as the original. There seems to be some additional risk to the hamstring near the previously injured region. Or sometimes we see athletes compensate if they fail to get that full flexibility and extensibility back and that leads to injuries elsewhere. But, like with anything, those consequences are not universal. A lot depends on the athlete, his history and how he takes care of himself. A guy like Kemp, so rarely injured, I think can do very well and not have it become a chronic problem as long as he truly heals it this time around. Longoria has certainly dealt with more injuries, worry a bit more about him AND his was called a partial tear right away (sounded more serious) and seemed to be lower down, towards the knee, another more challenging variety of the injury.

Peter (West Orange, NJ)

Any update on Bonafacio? Could really use the steals right now.

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Peter: He got his stitches out (from thumb he ha doperated on)_. Sounds like the team is hopeful for a return post-All Star, which I think is a bit later than originally hoped, but not by much.

Tom (West Palm)

Whats the word on Longoria? He is starting a rehab stint in the minors.

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Tom: As a follow to the Longoria post, yes he starts the rehab assignment this weekend - and that will be the thing to watch in terms of getting the next level of indication as to his readiness.

John (MA)

Sergio Santos felt more discomfort in his shoulder this week. Is that just an unfortunate par for the course or does it indicate possible surgery?

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

John: Not an indicator for surgery by any means but it certainly puts a halt to the progression. Every time a pitcher has an outing along the rehab progression he's monitored for his response both during and after throwing. If the soreness goes up, then the throwing is halted or at least slowed until it settles, he recovers and then they resume, often at slightly less intensity. He is still considered out "indefinitely" esp after this altest setback.

jay (first place)

stashed lance berkman. when will he help me?

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

Jay: Well you're in first place so that's a good place to be. After his surgery, Berkman seemed to think he'd be bacl by early July, sooner than the Cards originally projected. I;m not convinced it will be that quick. After all, he has a history of balky knees on both sides, but the good news is he will be back this season (at least he should be) and I would expect that you'll see him by mid-late July.

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

OK - time for me to run. Enjoy the weekend - so many great sports events. And stay healthy friends! See you here next week where I'll be back in the eastern time zone...