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March 5, 2012

Collateral Damage

Valley of Infections and Tears

by Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

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Ike Davis, New York Mets (Valley Fever)
Davis, who is on the mend from a 2011 ankle injury, has been diagnosed with “likely” having valley fever. Valley fever is a soil-dwelling fungus typically found in southwestern United States and northern Mexico, and it grows during rainy periods. The spores can break off and be inhaled whenever the soil is disrupted. Valley fever is generally benign, but more severe cases can include pneumonia, lung nodules, or the fungus spreading to other parts of the body. In severe cases, oral antifungal medications are used.

Davis underwent a routine chest x-ray during his spring physical, but the results were determined to be abnormal. After consulting multiple pulmonary and infectious disease specialists, he was diagnosed with a mild form of valley fever. He is not on any medications, but he must try to avoid extreme fatigue. Conor Jackson also had valley fever, but Davis is expected to make a full recovery without missing any time.

Scott Hairston, New York Mets (Left Oblique Strain)
Hairston re-strained his left oblique on Saturday. Oblique injuries can linger, especially in cases as severe as the one the outfielder suffered last year. Reports indicate he’ll attempt to decrease the pain and inflammation with a cortisone injection today. It’s too early to tell whether Hairston will miss the start of the regular season; right now, he’ll likely miss about a week.

Logan Forsythe, San Diego Padres (Left Foot—Fractured Sesamoid)
Forsythe injured his left foot on Friday; he was later diagnosed with a fractured sesamoid bone. Fractured sesamoids can be extremely painful and, unfortunately, can also be difficult to heal. The bone sits inside a tendon, so if the fracture does not heal and he needs surgery, he’d be sidelined for two to three months. Whether he’ll heal in the short term depends on the size of the fracture. For now, Forsythe is going to miss a week or two to see how much the area has healed. The Padres will adjust his timeline accordingly.

Manny Pina, Kansas City Royals (Right Knee Meniscus Surgery)
Pina underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and will be out a few months. It’s believed he’ll use a cane and brace for a month post-op, which seems to indicate surgeons actually repaired the tear with stitches instead of trimming out the torn portion. This is important for the long-term health of Pina’s knee, but it makes the meniscus slightly more likely to re-tear in the short term. One positive is the timing of the injury, as he will likely only miss the first month of the season.

Jesse Litsch, Toronto Blue Jays (Right Shoulder Surgery and Infection)
Any invasive procedure—even injections--run risks. After visiting Dr. Andrews and receiving news that there was no major structural damage in his shoulder, Litsch had a PRP injection in hopes of healing some of the damaged tissue. He developed an infection that required an emergency surgery on February 29. Litsch will be on antibiotics for four weeks and won’t throw for six weeks, meaning he won’t be able to start throwing until mid-April. He’ll an additional few weeks to be able to throw in games.

Corey Hart, Milwaukee Brewers (Right Knee Meniscus)
Hart has a meniscus tear in his right knee. Though some tears can be treated with anti-inflammatories and activity modification, an MRI helped determine that Hart will need surgery. Pre-surgical estimates put Hart out of action for three to four weeks, but if the tear is small enough and he has surgery soon, the right fielder might be able to avoid the disabled list.  

Flesh Wounds
A left hamstring injury will keep Jerome Williams out of regular activities for the next two weeks. … David Wright strained his left ribcage on Saturday. It’s thought to be a minor injury, but the Mets say the third baseman will be out indefinitely. … Dan Runzler strained his left lat again and will see Dr. Andrews for a consult. … Carl Crawford will avoid swinging a bat for several days due to left wrist inflammation. The setback is considered minor. … Jason Repko sustained a concussion at the end of the 2011 season and felt better within days, but Boston required that he pass post-concussion screening tests before playing in any games. … Freddie Freeman has progressed faster than expected and may get into games as soon as tomorrow. … Joel Zumaya will have Tommy John surgery at the end of March. … A tight hamstring has limited Laynce Nix. … Clay Hensley is also battling a strained hamstring. … Juan Nicasio threw two innings on Sunday, his first game action since breaking his neck last year.

Corey Dawkins is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Corey's other articles. You can contact Corey by clicking here
Stephani Bee is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Stephani's other articles. You can contact Stephani by clicking here

9 comments have been left for this article.

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