THE BIG HURT: Hurt file, May 18-23

NOTE: This column focuses on injury analysis, so we don't cover the progress of every injured player. We try to highlight the key fantasy contributors, unusual injuries, or situations where the official projected return is variable or not given. Players whose progress is proceeding as expected are very well covered by fantasy news sources; we'll tend to leave those players alone unless we have something we want to add to the news coverage. This column is updated on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Mondays.

Previous week: May 11-16


May 23, 2022

A rash of potential injuries struck on Sunday. A number of players left games or were surprise scratches with apparent injuries, but we don’t have any usable information on them yet:

Steven Matz (LHP, STL) – Shoulder
Nelson Cruz (DH, WAS) – Ankle
Jazz Chisholm (SS, MIA) – Hamstring
J.D. Martinez (OF, BOS) – Back spasms
Dylan Carlson (OF, STL) – Hamstring
Frankie Montas (RHP, OAK) – Hand
Miguel Rojas (SS, MIA) – Calf
Conner Overton (RHP, CIN) – Back

Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP, DET) – Ribcage “sprain” (5/18/22) UPDATE
We put sprain in quotes above because it’s probably not a sprain. We expect it’s a strain of the intercostal muscles, which are in between the ribs. Their primary purpose is to expand and collapse the chest cavity during breathing. A sprain would indicate ligament or tendon damage, which is far less likely here. The return to play depends entirely on the severity—an average strain takes about 4-5 weeks.
2022 Impact: Unknown severity
Est. Return: Mid-/late June (best estimate)

Josh Rojas (2B/SS/OF, ARI) – L hand, bruise (5/21/22)
He was plunked with a pitch, but no fracture is evident. He may miss a few days until the swelling and pain are reduced. His power may be off for a few days following, as it’s his top hand, but there should be no long-term effects.
2022 Impact: Possibility of reduced output for the next 7-10 days
Est. Return: 2-5 days

Freddy Peralta (RHP, MIL) – R shoulder injury (5/22/22)
We don’t know the nature of the injury yet, but they’re already sure he’ll need to hit the IL. Hopefully, it’s a muscle strain, but the shoulder is a complex joint, so that’s hard to project. If it is a muscle strain, figure 3-4 weeks. We’ll update when more information is available.

Mike Clevinger (RHP, SD) – R triceps strain (5/20/22)
The good news is that it’s a muscle strain and not something worse. The bad news is that the triceps are somewhat slow to heal. As with any muscle strain, there’s a risk he comes back too soon.
2022 Impact: Elevated risk; risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Maybe late June, but possibly after the All-Star break

Andre Kittredge (RHP, TAM) – Back strain (5/21/22)
These usually heal in 2-4 weeks, but there can be some complications (see Nick Lodolo, below).
2022 Impact: Elevated risk; risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-/late June (best estimate)

Nick Lodolo (LHP, CIN) – Back strain (4/28/22) UPDATE
He’s a good example of why injuries are never an absolute. He strained his lower back and was literally on the verge of returning when he reinjured it and was shut down again. It’s very easy to push too hard too soon, as muscles are still healing even after the pain has subsided. He’s started throwing, but he’ll need a few weeks to build back up.
2022 Impact: Elevated risk; risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-/late June


May 21, 2022

Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP, DET) – R oblique something (5/18/22
He left his start Wednesday with discomfort in his side, but the MRI showed no damage to the oblique, but he needs an IL trip anyway, but… Okay, so what’s the actual injury here? We’re thinking a mild oblique strain, despite what Mr. MRI said. However, it seems like a minor injury, so we’re not projecting a long absence.
2022 Impact: Elevated risk; Unknown extent/severity
Est. Return: Early/mid-June (best estimate)

LaMonte Wade (OF, SF) – L knee inflammation (5/17/22)
He was experiencing stiffness in the back of his knee, and is now headed to the IL. Unfortunately, there are many possible causes, so it’s not possible to come up with something definitive without more information. The most likely problem is tendonitis, so we’ll start with that.
2022 Impact: Unknown extent/severity
Est. Return: Mid-/late June (best estimate)

Tyler O’Neill (OF, STL) – R shoulder impingement (5/20/22)
Shoulder impingements take some time to get right, but you can improve and return within a few weeks. We don’t expect him to be out long, but there’s some chance of a lengthy IL stay.
2022 Impact: Unknown severity; Variable recovery time
Est. Return: Mid-/late June (best estimate)

Max Scherzer (RHP, NYM) – L oblique strain (5/19/22)
It’s a “moderate to high-grade” strain, so Grade II is appropriate. The team’s estimate is 6-8 weeks, but 6-12 weeks is more realistic. The oblique can be slow to heal. He won’t be back before the All-Star game, and it could stretch into August.
2022 Impact: Possibility of longer recovery than projected
Est. Return: Mid-July/early August

Chris Paddack (RHP, MIN) – R elbow surgery (5/19/22)
It’s Tommy John, the second such surgery he’s had. Overall, the return to play rate for TJS is just over 85%, but it drops to just over 75% for a second surgery. So there’s a significant chance he doesn’t make it back.
Est. Return: Mid-late 2023, best case

Willy Adames (SS, MIL) – L ankle sprain (5/15/22) UPDATE
So it turns out it’s a high ankle sprain, which is a whole different animal. The low end of the initial projection is possible, but these usually take more time.
2022 Impact: Variable recovery time
Est. Return: Early/late June

Brandon Lowe (2B, TAM) – Lower back, stress reaction (5/15/22) UPDATE
A stress reaction is a weakening of the bone, a precursor to a stress fracture. He’ll be shut down for three weeks, but that’s really a minimum. Most of these situations need six weeks or more to fully heal, so there’s a good chance he misses significant time.
2022 Impact: Variable recovery time (like, really variable)
Est. Return: July, maybe


May 18, 2022

Jake deGrom (RHP, NYM) – R shoulder, stress reaction (3/31/22) UPDATE
He had another MRI, which showed that his scapula is continuing to heal. This doesn't really change his projection, but it does verify that he's still on track.
2022 Impact: Estimates are still fuzzy, as he's just started to throw in the past week
Est. Return: Post All-Star break is the best case

David Fletcher (2B, LAA) – Adductor muscle surgery (5/9/22)
There's not much detail about the actual surgery, though given the path, it's likely to repair torn muscles in the groin and lower abdomen. The estimate is two months, though he'll be treated conservative so read that as "at least." His 15 SB drove his 2021 value, but he'll likely be running less when he first returns.
2021 Impact: Elevated risk; possibility of reduced production
Est Return: Mid-/late July

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP, SF) – R ankle inflammation (April 2022)
We keep waiting for that definitive diagnosis, but it doesn't look like it's coming. It's just inflammation, which is likely due to overuse. He's now on the 60-day IL, so he'll miss another month at least.
2022 Impact: Variable recovery time
Est. Return: Late June/early July

Brandon Lowe (2B, TAM) – Lower back "issue" (5/15/22)
The nature of the issue hasn't been discussed, but it's most likely a muscle strain. We'll project as such unless it comes out that it's something else.
2022 Impact: Unknown extent/severity
Est. Return: Early/mid-June (best estimate)

Austin Meadows (OF, DET) – Vertigo (5/12/22)
It sounds like his recent illness included an inner ear infection, which is causing vertigo. While this is something that usually clears up on its own, it can take a few weeks or even several months. That makes it difficult to project.
2022 Impact: Variable recovery time
Est. Return: Late May/early June at the earliest


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