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Medical Corner: Cueto, Ray, Buxton, Eaton, and More Injury Updates

Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants/Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees

Call it forearm tightness or elbow inflammation; semantics don’t matter. These two players find themselves in danger of Tommy John surgery. Both are shut down for now and could be at least a month away from pitching if they receive good news. For Cueto, this problem stems back to July 2017 when he missed significant time in July and August with a similar injury. Montgomery said he has experienced mild elbow pain in the past and didn’t expect to miss much time. Let’s hope he’s right. Expected Return: Montgomery – Cautiously Optimistic Late May. Cueto – Unknown.

Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks

A right oblique for a left-handed pitcher produces a lot of torque. The wind-up phase also stretches the same oblique to its limits. I would expect Ray to be shut down for 2-3 weeks, followed by ramping up his throwing for another two weeks, and finally a rehab start or two. That could total 6-8 weeks of rehabilitation and minor league work. Expected Return: Mid- June

Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins

Despite the hairline fracture in his toe, the Twins are letting Buxton run, hit, and take part in batting practice. I expect him to back in a few days, or at the latest the second week of May. Whether or not he’ll be worth starting on your fantasy squad is another question entirely. He sports a career-low .267 BABIP in 2018, and regression would be a good thing for Buxton if he can find a little luck. Expected Return: May 5-10th

Adam Eaton, Washington Nationals

Eaton is back in a walking boot after failing to progress through his rehab. A boot or cast immobilizes a joint that is unstable. Over time, the joint will tighten up on its own, but at times may require surgical interventions to fix the laxity. The fact that he was participating in baseball activities and couldn’t make it back makes surgery more likely. Expected Return: Unknown. Brace yourself for any news containing the word “surgery.”

Wil Myers, San Diego Padres

I have zero shares of Myers. An injury-prone first baseman who is moving to the outfield … what could go wrong? So far, that would include an oblique strain, a nerve problem in his throwing arm, and a mild back strain. Expected Return: Late-May (albeit briefly until something else breaks).

Returning soon

Josh Donaldson – The Jays will monitor Donaldson’s tolerance to multiple days in a row at third base. “Dead arm” often resolves spontaneously after a little rest. Donaldson is on a rehab assignment in High-A and should be back next week. Expected Return: May 10th

Anthony Rendon – May 9—15th
Corey Knebel – May 10-20th
Yasiel Puig – May 10th
Greg Bird – May 12-19th

Madison Bumgarner – He cannot return earlier than May 25 from the 60-day DL, and I would guess he comes back pretty close to that date. It’s MadBum we’re talking about here; no one is tougher. Expected Return: Late May/Early June

A few players you may want to consider adding, if available, as they should return soon:

Luiz Gohara – ETA –  May 8th
Carlos Rodon – Early June

Jimmy Nelson – Mid-Late June 

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