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August 17, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

Hi gang:Sorry for the slight delay. Have had a couple technical challenges this morning. Is there a solar flare I didn't know about?In any event, we're here now, so let's get going...

John Malfa (New York)

Hi Stephania!!! I notice in all your chats nobody EVER brings up rashard mendenhall. Is he set to return at all this season and if so when? Also if he is set to return is he draftable late or is the re-injury risk too great?

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Hi John: Well, you have! So to answer your question, by all accounts from the folks I've spoken with, Mendenhall is likely to start the season on the PUP list. THat means he would miss at least the first 6 weeks. I don't know that I'd invest a draft pick on him, not so much for re-injury but you don't yet know whether he'll produce much. You can pick him up later (most likely) as you get a few weeks into the season, if needed.

mike moore (kansas city mo.)

best guess on witten's status & return

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Mike: Don't know if you saw what I said on the show last night but bottom line is that this is not an injury you play through. Period. In other words, they will monitor the healing of his spleen and when it has returned to normal, then he can return. Need to make sure it does not re-bleed or rupture, b/c could be life threatening. It can take up to 3 mos to heal but he could also heal more quickly if laceration is small. So we are in wait-and-see, as are the Cowboys.

Kevin (Winnipeg)

Good morning, will Bonifacio thumb prevent him from stealing? Looking for SBs, thank you.

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Kevin: Don't think so. But I do think he'll aim for feet first, at least for the rest of the season. He should be up Sunday.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

Hey Stephania, how is your Friday?... hope you are holding up with all the baseball and football reporting you must do. Ian Desmond is supposedly back today, do you expect any lingering issues, or is this something that can be put behind him for the remainder of the year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Jeff: Why it's quite nice, thanks. I like Desmond right away. Couple reasons. He was playing pretty well even when hurt. I supported the DL move b/c I think his pain was getting worse. But he feels great now, he's had enough time (theoretically) to recover. No guarantees of course but I don't EXPECT lingering issues. I think the rest was really critical for him. He should be in the mix tonight.

John (Syracuse,NY)

Jamaal Charles is healthy good to go no worries right?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

John: Yes, in that he's already playing, he's taken a hit to that reconstructed knee (we always feel better after they get that out of the way and the athletes feel better too) but we still need to see what his production is like. Always cautious on first year back from ACL as production is usually down. Having Hillis actually helps him I think and I feel good about the possibilities for him, especially as the season moves along.

Eric (Ouray, CO)

Is A/P going to have a light work load for a while? Sounds like I shouldn't invest too much stock in him.

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Eric: I believe that to be the case. There's no reason the Vikings would deviate from what they've done so far which is increase his workload gradually. He still hasn't faced contact. Everything looks great so far - but part of the reason for that is that he has been held to controlled activity. Expect first 3-5 weeks to be a gradual progression, assuming he plays Week One.

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Auto-update is on folks. You may need to hit refresh.

Matt (Philly)

Jose Bautista took live BP yesterda and will do so Saturday and Sunday then go on a rehab if all goes well on Monday. How long do you think until hes back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Matt: Sounds like the plan is about another 10 days to 2 weeks. While the news of him swinging the bat again is encouraging, it's still been just one day of BP. Sometimes it's the odd swing, the swing and a miss, that will really bother the wrist. Want to see how he responds to a variety of situations over a period of time (like another week or two) before getting super excited. Encouraged, just cautious.

John (NY)

Neil Walker update?

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

John: Walker dislocated his pinkie finger and the non-rush to the DL suggests they think he'll be back fairly quickly. The main thing is getting the swelling down and having enough range of motion to grip the bat, minimize discomfort.

David (Montreal)

Hey Stephania, seems a lot of people are low on McFadden this season. I get the concern for future injuries, but just wondering about his current "health" status, and how you would feel about drafting him this year (i.e. what round would you be comfortable nabbing him), thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

David: Great question. I'm one of those who is low. Let me be clear. I think he is hugely talented and could finish in the Top 5 RBs at the end of the season. Key word is COULD because we have never seen him stay healthy. He does appear healthy now, running well in practice (and he looked pretty darn good in their most recent preseason game). But the worries are legit and that is what hurts his value. He'll go as a Top 10 RB but I wouldn't take him (prob at all b/c that's me) but not before the 3rd round for me.

Tara (Sweden Valley, PA)

Should I avoid Ryan Mathews? I'm not even positive who the handcuff is?

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Tara: This is another one of those value questions. If he comes back from the broken clavicle and goes on to play in all remaining games, he could be amazing value. But he's another health challenged guy. And no matter what he says about coming back Week 1, he can't predict how well the bone will heal which is what will drive the decision. So count me skeptical. RIght now backup is Ronnie Brown. Tough situation there in SD. But I don't take Mathews before 3rd round either...and somebody else will.

marcus (cape)

given the lions rb injuries do you think k. smith will be the man this year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Marcus: Well, he's at least the man for now. I am very concerned about Best (this news that he's likely to start on PUP no big surprise to me) and LeShoure has already tweaked a hamstring to go with his recovering Achilles and we know he's going to miss 2 weeks. Right now job is Smith's to lose (or get hurt) after Week 3. Probably a very good value b/c many people will avoid him given his injury history.

Bryan (Atlanta, GA)

Is the foot something to worry about going forward for Hakeem Nicks? He seems to always be dealing with some sort of lower exteremity injury.

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Bryan: No, I don't believe so. He's been able to come back at a measured pace and I think this is behind him. He's had a couple injuries but overall hasn't missed much time. I love Nicks this year.

Greg (Miami)

Thoughts on Britt?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Greg: Won't be on my team reagardless of talent. Too many unknowns. 3 knee surgeries within the year (acl, follow-up scope and scope on other knee), chronic major hamstring issues and plenty of other "issues" with no resolution yet on penalties, etc.

Andrew (Chicago)

Brandon Morrow?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Andrew: Sounds like final rehab start is coming this weekend. After Sunday, if all goes well, should be back by 8/24.

Patrick (Atlanta, GA)

Jermaine Greasham limped off the field after a hit last night and didnt return. Any update on the foot/ankle, and does this take some of the luster off a potential sleeper?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Patrick: Sounds like was more of a scare than anything. Apparently the knee was fine and Marvin Lewis expects him to play next weekend. So no, doesn;t affect value to me.

John (Ocala)

Do you expect Greg Jennings concussion to be a issue into the regular season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

John: Several folks asking about Jennings. The hardest thing with concussion injuries is the lack of predictability. Mike MCCarthy at one point said it wasn't going as well as "Jennings would like." I'm not sure how to interpret that but it's often a slower recovery than players expect. I don't think it's terrible. BUT, remember the key is not returning a player too soon and being sure he is fully recovered before taking another hit. I take this as a good sign but it makes it hard to judge where he'll be by Week 1.

Sarah (Tampa)

Any lingering concerns about Forte's health? At pick #11 it is either he or MJD- your thoughts. Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Sarah: I like Forte. Has been consistently healthy playing all 16 games 3 years in a row before the MCL last year. He's fully recovered from that. Everyone knows I've loved MJD but the holdout situation makes me nervous. I take Forte.

Eric (New Jersey)

What is beanie Wells' status? Would you draft him or do you prefer Ryan Williams?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Eric: Now if you know me, you know my thoughts on Wells. I'm sure he's a nice guy but I don't want a RB where every week I'm wondering about whether he'll play or not - and whether he'll play a full game or up to his potential. I like the Ryan Williams upside. Coming off a very tough injury but the reports have been glowing in AZ. I choose Williams (not as a number one) but I like him for potential.

Ben (Minneapolis)

Hey Stephy (hopefully) Good News! Happy Friday! Drafting tonight, what's the latest on Isaac Redman? Had been targeting him in mocks. should I be worried with the groin injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Ben: It's hard to know how much to worry. No reports from the MRI yet. He says he'll be back soon but never sure I believe players. The other day he fell to his knees in pain. I've heard he's walking without a limp, so there's that. But if the info is as limited as it is right now, don't overreach for him in the draft. Dwyer getting reps while Redman down.

CAM (Chicago)

Do you expect Votto to come back strong, or will it take him time to adjust? He's running out of time to be of any value to us fantasy players if he starts slow. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

CAM: Expect him strong, just don't know how soon that will be. The one concern I have is that he originally injured himself sliding, then aggravated the knee sliding. Is this going to make him hesitant at all running the bases? I think he'll hit fine, but will he be a bit more cautious on the basepath? I don't see him returning before another week (although timetable is fluid)

Dan (MN)

Is Frank Gore healthy as far as we know?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Dan: As far as we know. And as a Niners fan, I hope it stays that way.

Steve (Boston)

I was high on Miles Austin entering the season, but the hamstring issues keep flaring up. Is this a guy you would steer clear of in the draft, or a solid WR 1/2 option?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Steve: I still like him. I know Romo likes him and will look for him. No more Robinson. Bryant a big play guy but I think Austin offers consistency IF he can stay in the game. I consider him a risk but it's all about value. I call him a WR2 and I expect he'll be playing by Week 1. They are just being very careful given last year.

Jason ( My Cubicle)

Loved seeing you on the Sportscenter Special last night!!Does James Starks have TURF TOE? could you briefly explain what that is? sounds like a childish injury, but i have heard it's extremely painful! thanks!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Jason: Thank you. And turf toe is not a good thing to have. Often lingering. Very painful. Usually the result of hyperextension of the big toe. Feels like stepping on a nail in the ball of your foot. Impossible to push off. There's a reason teh Packers added Cedric Benson. There's some concern about Starks.

John (Mad-Town)

Hey Stephi! What's the deal? You can't type? Averaging one response per 4 minutes. Pick up the speed and demonstrate your worth...not much there - but you can at least try!

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

John is angry. More than a little thought goes into the response John.

bitter berry (bristol)

any news on steven ridley being hurt in practice yesterday?

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

It is the Patriots, therefore no specifics. Sounds like the speculation is a knee injury, but the specifics as to what it is or how severe are not available. Need a couple more practices to see whether he's around, etc to try and gauge this.

Bob (New York)

Will Longoria regain his mojo this year? Power has been slow to return.

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Bob: I was never thrilled about what Longoria would bring when he came back because of the fact we knew he wasn't fully recovered. The hamstring is still an issue and with him being away for so long, likely affected his timing, etc. So I'm not optimistic that there's a huge change this season.

Dustin (Work)

Mornin' Is Demarco Murray a trainwreck waiting to happen? Between his past injuries and the cowboys O Line underperforming I'm scared to use him.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Dustin: Don't think I'd steer away from him. I like Murray - appears fully recovered from the ankle surgery and I think in line for increased work over Felix Jones. Don't be afraid.

Igor (NYC)

Hi Stephania, Torry Smith had ankle injure. Is it serious?

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

Igor: Apparently not quite as much as we heard it might be. Harbaugh made it sound like could be weeks but he did go back to practice early this week. Now he's out again and might not play this weekend but I'm thinking he tested it and maybe it wasn't great so they give it some more time. Not overly concerned yet.

Andrew (San Diego)

Call me dumb, but why don't they just take the spleen out? It's an unnecessary organ and they take it out if it ruptures anyway?

Stephania Bell
  (12:05 PM)

Andrew: Always better to have an organ you were born with. Has a pretty big job as a filter for bacteria so you are more at risk for some serious illness after removal. If it heals fully, at no greater risk for future injury so why not keep it. It's just that you have to let it fully heal. And they will.

Stephania Bell
  (12:06 PM)

OK - time for me to go, but thanks for joining, as always. We'll be back here again next week. Same time, same spot. Have a great weekend!