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Collateral Damage 

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04-01

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1

Collateral Damage: Santana's Uphill Battle
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

02-19

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1

Collateral Damage: Pop Goes the Knee Joint
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

02-06

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3

Collateral Damage: Barely Begun and Already Through
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

01-23

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1

Collateral Damage: A Pain in the Hip
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

11-16

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12

Collateral Damage: 2012 Year-End Injury Summary: AL East
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

11-14

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0

Collateral Damage: 2012 Year-End Injury Summary: NL East
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

11-12

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4

Collateral Damage: 2012 Year-End Injury Summary: AL Central
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

11-09

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2

Collateral Damage: 2012 Year-End Injury Summary: NL Central
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

11-07

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Collateral Damage: 2012 Year-End Injury Summary: AL West
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

11-01

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6

Collateral Damage: NL West Year-End Injury Summary
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

06-25

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11

Collateral Damage: The Year of the Injuries?
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

04-04

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0

Collateral Damage: How Much Pain Could the Doctor (Up)Chuck?
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

04-02

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3

Collateral Damage: Spring Tune-Ups
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-30

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1

Collateral Damage: Let the Games Begin
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-28

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4

Collateral Damage: Clearing the Air
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-26

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2

Collateral Damage: The Tommy John Brotherhood
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-23

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2

Collateral Damage: Spring Soreness
by
Corey Dawkins

03-21

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4

Collateral Damage: Fillet o' Philly
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-19

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6

Collateral Damage: Bullpen Blowout
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-16

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5

Collateral Damage: Mets Misery
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-14

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7

Collateral Damage: Spring Uprising
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-12

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6

Collateral Damage: Battle of the Bulge
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

03-09

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10

Collateral Damage: Stairway to Heaven
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-05

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9

Collateral Damage: Valley of Infections and Tears
by
Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

03-02

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4

Collateral Damage: Socket to Him
by
Corey Dawkins and Rebecca Glass

02-29

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2

Collateral Damage: Spring Training Injury Roundup: Don't Try This At Home
by
Corey Dawkins and Rebecca Glass

02-27

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8

Collateral Damage: Spring Training Injury Roundup: It's What's for Dinner
by
Corey Dawkins

02-24

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5

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Chad Fox
by
Corey Dawkins and Rebecca Glass

02-20

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3

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Nick Johnson
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

02-17

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1

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Kelvim Escobar
by
Corey Dawkins

02-15

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5

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Alex Escobar
by
Corey Dawkins

02-13

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4

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Justin Duchscherer
by
Corey Dawkins

02-07

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10

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Chris Snelling
by
Corey Dawkins and Rebecca Glass

02-03

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6

Collateral Damage: The Disabled List: A History
by
Corey Dawkins and Rebecca Glass

01-30

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14

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Grand Finale
by
Corey Dawkins and Rebecca Glass

01-27

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0

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Abdominal/Oblique Strains
by
Corey Dawkins

01-23

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Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Herniated Disks
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

01-20

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5

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Hip Labrum Tears and FAI
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

01-16

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9

Collateral Damage: The Latest Offseason Surgery Updates
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

01-13

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6

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

01-09

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10

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Sports Hernia/Athletic Pubalgia
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

01-06

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4

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: SLAP Tears
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

01-02

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3

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Tommy John Surgery
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

12-30

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7

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Ankle Sprains
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

12-23

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1

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Thumb Injuries
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

12-20

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2

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Fractures
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

12-16

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8

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Rotator Cuff Tears
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

12-13

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2

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Cartilage Injuries
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

12-09

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8

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: The Torn ACL
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

12-05

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7

Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Impingement
by
Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

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March 2, 2012 3:00 am

Collateral Damage: Socket to Him

4

Corey Dawkins and Rebecca Glass

A.J. Burnett finds out just what it means to be a pirate, a couple players go under the knife, and various other injuries around spring training.

A.J. Burnett, PIT (Eye)
Bunting practice is usually not dangerous; occasionally a batter might injure a finger but, only rarely does something more serious happen. On Wednesday, Burnett fell into this latter category. In the video of the incident in question, the ball deflects off of Burnett’s bat and strikes him at the corner of his eye and the eye socket. He is helped by assistant athletic trainer Ben Potenziano and walks off the field with a towel to his face. After flying back to Pittsburgh for more tests, Burnett was diagnosed with an orbital bone fracture and will undergo surgery on Friday. Bones heal at a fairly predictable pace; players usually return between four and eight weeks. Burnett will have to take it easy, but assuming there is no serious trauma to the eye itself, he should be able to start getting into baseball shape before that magic number is reached. Still, Burnett will almost certainly start the season on the disabled list.

Ryan Howard, PHI (Achilles surgery)
After Howard saw Dr. Myerson, additional information came to light. He had a small procedure to clean out stitch and surrounding tissue; the stitch was an internal one but the integrity of the Achilles repair is not compromised. This is the key: if the repair was significantly compromised, Howard may not have been able to make it back this year. Fortunately, this was not the case. During the procedure, Dr. Myerson consulted with infectious disease specialists, which revealed that Howard had an infection and the first baseman was placed on antibiotics. With news that the tendon is not compromised, the biggest issue is keeping the wound clean and not infected. Recovery from Achilles surgeries are so long and have so many ups and downs that there is no true timetable on Howard’s, but this could be seen as a relatively minor blip in the process.



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Scott Sizemore, Freddie Freeman, Matt Moore and others...

Scott Sizemore, OAK (Torn ACL)
An MRI revealed a torn ACL, ending Sizemore’s season before it started. In the past, ACL surgery was performed immediately after injury and involved being placed in a cast; surgeons eventually found that complications (such as extreme stiffness and loss of range of motion) were occurring more often than they expected. Now, surgery is delayed for about four to six weeks while the player attends physical therapy to decrease swelling while increasing range of motion and strength. Cutting and pivoting activities are avoided for at least five or, more frequently, six months. The best-case scenario for Sizemore would have him returning around the last week of the season, so it’s safe to assume that he will miss the entire year; he should be able to make a full recovery for 2013. Josh Donaldson is being given a shot to take over third base; normally players who switch positions are at a slightly higher risk of injury, but he played third over the winter so the risk is somewhat lessened. 

Brian Roberts, BAL (Post-Concussion Syndrome)
Roberts’ recovery from his concussion has been a long road, but he appears to be making his way back to full recovery: He recently ran sprints with Brady Anderson in camp and responded well. Concussion management involves walking a very thin line with a slow progression. Roberts is still several stages away from full recovery, though sprinting without a recurrence of symptoms is a good first step. He still must be able to run the bases, go through extended hitting sessions, and make it through fielding drills. His final step would involve sliding drills, which have given him trouble before. With no timetable set for his return, just making it back will be an accomplishment.



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Spring training has just started, but already players are nursing injuries.

Spring training has only just begun, but we already have news aplenty to digest. Let’s go right to the infirmary report:

Ryan Howard, PHI (Left Achilles Surgery)
Howard’s recovery from surgery on his torn left achilles tendon has been a rollercoaster ride. He was spotted taking grounders from a stationary position as well as running late last week, but with a limp. Subsequently, it was revealed that one of the stitches had a seroma forming around it. While this sounds ominous, a seroma is merely a pocket of fluid very similar to a cyst. This far out from surgery, the stitches involved are not the ones that you see on the skin’s surface, but rather a buried stitch used to close tissues deeper under the skin; the cyst developed become the body views it as a foreign invader. The body begins to “spit the stitch,” attempting to push it out of the body. This is not at all uncommon following surgery, particularly plastic surgery or mastectomies, and is different from an abscess in that it is not infected. They can be drained, but anytime you introduce a needle into the skin there is a chance infection will set in.


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February 24, 2012 3:00 am

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Chad Fox

5

Corey Dawkins and Rebecca Glass

Meet the pitcher who accrued the most injury time among major leaguers since 2002

As we have seen in previous installments of the DL Kings, there are many ways in which a career can be shortened by injury:  There can be a single, recurring injury as we saw with Kelvim Escobar, or there can be a multitude of different injuries, as was the case with Alex Escobar. We have said that a player needs to have talent to be high on this list—otherwise teams would just cut loose after a few signs of trouble, and this holds true for Chad Fox, who holds the list’s infamous top spot. 

Fox was originally drafted by Cincinnati in the 23rd round of the 1992 draft, and through the 1995 season, he was almost exclusively a starting pitcher, where he demonstrated a mid-to-upper 90s fastball and a good slider. Fox was traded  to Atlanta for outfielder Mike Kelly after the end of the 1995 season; He pitched for the Richmond Braves the following season, increasing his strikeout (from a 6.3 K/9 to 8.39), and dropping his walk rate (from 5.85 BB/9 to 4.73) . Alas, elbow trouble forced him to the disabled list and he  underwent Tommy John surgery that  July.

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February 20, 2012 5:34 am

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Nick Johnson

3

Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

As the sad tale of Nick Johnson shows, a high on-base percentage doesn't help unless you can stay in the lineup

One of the most difficult aspects of injury projection is deciding how to deal with acute injuries. Athletes often acquire a “bad luck” label that follows them over the course of a season or a career, even if their injuries haven’t followed a predictable pattern. It isn’t much of a surprise that out of all the hitters in the last decade, one such injury-prone player, Nick Johnson, has missed the most days on the disabled list and the third-most of any player.

The New York Yankees drafted Johnson in the third round of the 1996 draft. Like all of the other players on the DL Kings list, when Johnson has been healthy, he’s been a productive player. In his first season in the Sally League, he displayed power, speed, and a good eye, only to improve over the next two years. He also got his first taste of the injury bug in 1998 when he dove for a ball, tore his labrum, and underwent surgery. He missed six weeks.

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More than 700 days on the shelf later, what have we learned about talking to strangers with wobbly labrums?

Professional athletes expect to suffer injuries at some point in their career regardless of whether they play baseball, football, or lawn darts. In previous installments of the DL Kings, we discussed how hitting prospects Chris Snelling and Alex Escobar did not live up to expectations, in large part because of injuries. We also looked at how Justin Duchscherer, who had some success in the majors,dealt with multiple surgeries on each hip (among other injuries). Kelvim Escobar, the next pitcher on our list, also had major-league success like Duchscherer, but he took a different road to the DL Kings’ throne.

The right-handed Escobar signed as a free agent with Toronto in 1992; he joined a system that also included Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay. Toronto had a reputation for being aggressive with the handling of their younger pitchers, which was noted in the 1997 edition of Baseball Prospectus:

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February 15, 2012 3:00 am

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Alex Escobar

5

Corey Dawkins

For this former prospect, a career like the game "Operation"

With only weeks to go until spring training gets into high gear, Collateral Damage takes a look at the baseball players (three pitchers, three position players) who have spent more time on the disabled list over the past decade than anyone else. Up next: Alex Escobar.

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February 13, 2012 3:00 am

Collateral Damage: The DL Kings: Justin Duchscherer

4

Corey Dawkins

Or, how Justin Duchscherer broke our hearts

With only weeks to go until spring training gets into high gear, Collateral Damage takes a look at the baseball players (three pitchers, three position players) who have spent more time on the disabled list over the past decade than anyone else. Up next: Justin Duchscherer.

Most everyone has had that girlfriend or boyfriend they just can’t stop seeing, even though they know s/he is trouble. You know, the one where your friends are like “Seriously?” and feel the need to stage an intervention to point out to you all the flaws that you are too besotted to see? Justin Duchscherer has been that person to so many fans and general managers alike. For me, it all began when he first came up in 2001. He was 23 years old, just one month younger than me, and already in the majors while I was just out of school, scraping by on Ramen noodles and mashed potatoes.

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We take a look at some of the most injury-prone players over the past decade, starting with Chris Snelling.

With only weeks to go until Spring Training gets into high gear, Collateral Damage takes a look at the baseball players (three pitchers, three position players) who have spent more time on the disabled list over the past decade than anyone else. Up first: Chris Snelling

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What if you could only place two players at a time on the disabled list? The history, inside.

Over the last several years, players have been placed on the disabled list in record numbers. This isn’t just due to an increasing number of injuries; at one time, only a limited number of players could be placed on the DL. If another player was injured and a team was at its limit, it was just too bad; the club had to make do. Now, teams can place an unlimited number of players on the DL, but teams might be abusing the privilege. 

"Disabled" or "injury" lists go all the way back to the early 1900s. Rosters held only 21 players, and several managers and National League clubs were upset at how the strict limit punished those unhealthy or unfortunate—something, perhaps, that should not be ignored today.* In response, the National League created the first official disabled list on July 12, 1915; it allowed players to be removed from the roster for a ten-day recuperation period.  Even though they were not allowed to play, injured players could remain with the team as a “coacher.”

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What conclusions can we draw from the distribution of the most common baseball injuries over the last nine years? The answers will surprise you...

Spring training seems like it is right around the corner, although from where I’m writing from, winter still hasn’t arrived (we’ve only had about three inches of snow in Boston this season). One of the great things about spring training is that you never have to worry about snow. On the other hand, injuries will happen regardless of the weather outside.  

Over the last few months we have talked about the ”usual suspects,” that is, the kind of injuries we see over and over. How common are they? To answer that question (and hopefully not bore everyone to death), I brought a bunch of graphs. There are also doughnuts for everyone at the back of the room. In the first graph, we have the breakdown of usual suspects disabled list injuries, with the data collected for the years 2002-2011. There is some overlap between a few of the categories, (most notably with fractures). It probably won’t surprise you that pitchers make up a large part of the shoulder and elbow injury categories (such as rotator cuff, labrum, or Tommy John surgeries).  Abdominal strains are more spread out; understandable when you consider that the number of swings a hitter takes during the season is often more than the number of pitches a pitcher throws throughout the year.   Other injuries, however, are less discerning in their targets: Knee injuries, hip injuries, and fractures are all equal opportunity disablers, with only the DH managing to miss out on the party.

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Are oblique strains on the rise? The shocking truth awaits within!

In years past, muscle injuries in the abdominal area were known by names such as ribcage strains, oblique strains, side strains, abdominal strains, or intercostal strains; with so many muscles overlapping in the area, it was hard to distinguish one muscle from the other prior to the advent of MRI. Now, we can tell the difference between intercostal strains and oblique strains and can treat each accordingly, but a question remains: Are abdominal injuries occurring at a greater rate, both by number and by position, than they have in the past?

Anatomy
As with most of the body’s core regions, many different layers and muscles overlap. The muscles we are most interested in when discussing abdominal strains are the rectus abdominis, internal oblique, external oblique, transverse abdominis, and intercostal muscles. 


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