June 27, 2011
Delmon Young, MIN (Right ankle sprain)
The video above reveals that Young immediately reached for his calf and lower leg, not necessarily his ankle. As mentioned above, fibular fractures can occur in combination with syndesmosis sprains. Given Young’s mechanism of injury, his reaction, and his inability to bear weight, it would not surprise us at all if he also suffered a small fracture. We've seen time and time again that simple x-rays don't show small fractures, but a fracture would not be the worst thing.
Severe syndesmosis sprains generally don't heal without surgery, even in the absence of fractures. A screw is implanted through the ends of the tibia and fibula to ensure that the bones will not spread apart, thereby allowing the ligaments to heal. The screw is eventually removed to allow normal kinematics of the ankle to resume.
Young will undergo more tests to determine the true extent of his injuries over the next couple of days.
As the pitch struck Choo's thumb, a compressive and shearing force was easily transmitted to the bones, which was just too much to absorb without injury. The resulting displaced fracture will probably require surgery to correct the alignment and allow the optimum healing environment. The size and type of fractures would determine which hardware would be used for surgery, which in turn would dictate the length of time missed.
Justin Morneau, MIN (Neck surgery)
The wrist inflammation is partly the result of his neck problems, which caused weakness in his arm and numbness in his hand. Morneau is expected to miss at least six weeks to allow for proper healing in the neck, during which time the wrist will also benefit from rest.
Roy Oswalt, PHI (Bulging disc)
Complicating the difficulties caused by the disc injuries is a thickening of the facet joints, which is a nice way of saying that Oswalt has early arthritis in that area of the spine. Early arthritis is not unheard of for someone of Oswalt's age and activity level, but it’s not normally quite as limiting as it is for Oswalt at this stage of his career.
Oswalt is relieved that his season isn't over yet, but he’s hardly out of the woods. Doctors are recommending a regimen of different injections and physical therapy aimed at decreasing the inflammation while simultaneously strengthening his core, but that may not be enough to decrease his symptoms. The problem is that it's not as simple as prescribing a treatment and waiting for the area to heal, since the damage is already done. The herniating and bulging discs will not get noticeably smaller, and the arthritis around his facet joints will not go away. When Oswalt does return, he’ll be at risk of aggravating the injury every time out.
Jed Lowrie, BOS (Left shoulder nerve contusion)
Nerves can become bruised, and depending on the severity, symptoms can persist for several weeks, months, or in extreme cases, even longer. Rehabilitation needs to be structured very carefully, since setbacks are common when players are pushed too hard, too fast.
Ryan Madson, PHI (Right hand inflammation)
Continued pain while gripping certain pitches led him to a hand specialist, who discovered the inflammation. The affected muscles, while small, are invaluable for fine motor skills. Without proper functioning of these muscles, pitchers are unable to grip the ball properly and impart the correct spin on the ball.
Anti-inflammatory medications were prescribed, and Madson also received an injection to knock out the inflammation faster. He will throw a side session tomorrow to see how his hand feels, after which we'll have a better grasp on the timeline for his return.
Dustin Pedroia, BOS (Knee)
Viscosupplementation injections are used to decrease the friction in arthritic joints or joints with cartilage damage. Since Pedroia had a second viscosupplementation injection—almost like an oil change of the joint, with one more coming to complete the series—we have evidence that something is going on inside the joint. The knee may need to be cleaned up at the end of the season or even further in the future, but for now it is holding up well.
Elvis Andrus, TEX (Left wrist sprain)
Flesh Wounds: Huston Streetis day-to-day with groin soreness... John Danks and Grant Balfour are the latest members of the strained oblique club, and while Danks was placed on the disabled list, Balfour is still considered day-to-day... Even though Jose Tabata was carted off the field with a left quad or hip flexor strain, he will undergo more tests today to ensure that there was no damage to the hip joint or proximal femur... Jonathan Sanchez was placed on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis, which could explain his recent ineffectiveness... No decision has been made about placing Marcus Thames on the disabled list for his left calf strain, and he will remain day-to-day... J.R. Towles was cleared of any concussion, but he did need 11 stitches to close up a nasty gash on his chin caused by a pitch that bounced in the dirt... Jonathon Niese was removed from his start with a rapid heartbeat, but he was checked out and allowed to return to his home on his off day. The scare was likely just the result of environmental conditions, but his condition will continue to be monitored nonetheless.
Corey Dawkins is an author of Baseball Prospectus. Follow @CoreyDawkinsBP