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Medical Corner – Injury Updates on Betts, Acuna, Plus Bad News for Big Prospect

Dr. Mike Tanner gives his fantasy diagnosis for the recent deluge of MLB injuries affecting fantasy baseball owners. Don’t blame him if the news is bad.

MLB Injuries for June 7

A.J. Pollock

It’s been six weeks since Pollock suffered an “avulsion fracture.” This fracture means that the tendon pulled a small piece of bone away (that’s the broken part). Ideally, in MLB injuries like this, we immobilize the break in a cast, and the body heals the little-broken piece back in place, end of story. This can take six to eight weeks, often if things are going well, we’ll take the cast off around six weeks to begin gentle flexibility rehab and later introduce strengthening exercises. The CT scan showed that the little piece isn’t in place enough to start that process. Pollock is at least a month out, meaning his return will be after the all-star break. Too bad, he’s a beast when he plays. Expected Return: Mid-July

Andrelton Simmons

The Angels placing Simmons on the DL yesterday after rolling his ankle descending the steps into the dugout means he will have at least a three-week absence. A “grade 2 sprain” implies that no ligaments are torn into two halves, but under a microscope, small tears would be visible. It is encouraging that he tried to play through the sprain initially, but after swelling, treatment, and a possible short rehab stint, we’ll be awfully close to July before he at full strength. Expected Return: Late June

Mookie Betts

The Red Sox conservative approach to “tightness” in Mookie’s side that is “not an oblique injury,” may help fantasy owners get him back sooner. To be clear, it is a minor oblique injury despite the Boston semantics. They gave Mookie a week off and had him take dry swings and later batting practice, all of which was tolerated well. Soon they’ll ramp him up and get him back in, likely after a game or two in the minors. Kudos to them for taking the conservative route with their young star, I’m curious if the Mets noticed? Expected Return: June 10th

Chris Archer

An abdominal strain in a pitcher usually equates to a six-week loss of playing time. There are two aspects to the time lost in MLB injuries like this: rest and ramping back up. Archer doesn’t appear to need more than a few days off and will begin a throwing program this weekend. Ramping back up doesn’t take as long if the downtime is minimal. Archer could be back sooner than other pitchers with similar injuries (I’m looking at you, Robbie Ray). Expected Return: June 15th

Ronald Acuna

Optimism filled the reports the day after Acuna escaped severe injury in his knee. He’s young, nothing was torn, and he wanted to play the following day. Then the swelling set in like it always does. A strained ACL (and likely strained LCL) regularly requires a few weeks for rest and recovery. Acuna will be back, but it’ll take a few weeks like it would for any other player. Expected Return: June 15th-20th

If you’re looking for a replacement, check out our waiver wire targets

Quick Hits: Julio Teheran, Mike Soroka

Mike Soroka — He is on track to return around June 16, and his rehab games have gone well, Go get him.

Julio Teheran – A thumb injury to a pitcher’s throwing hand means a minimum three weeks. Teheran has a 5.71 FIP this season over 71 innings, so he’s likely droppable in most redraft formats. Name recognition aside, he’s only had a FIP below 4.00 once in the past three years. Let it go. If you haven’t noticed the Braves have quite a few exciting arms in AAA and AA.

Trending Down – Daniel Murphy, Alex Reyes, Ervin Santana

Daniel Murphy – Beat writers aren’t great sources of information on MLB injuries, but being described as gimpy is never a good sign. I still believe Murphy returns in a week or two but consider this a significant setback. He will also play less often than owners will like, requiring a day or two off every week.

Alex Reyes – If you haven’t heard, Reyes season is over due to surgery required on his torn Lat. Make that two injuries to his throwing arm that have ended seasons for Reyes. Bullpen anyone? His long-term outlook as a starter is becoming muddier each day.  Dynasty players can find new shiny toys here, it may be time to move on from Reyes.

Ervin Santana – We may be seeing the end; he can’t seem to shake the finger problems that began this offseason.

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