BIG HURT: Hurt File, May 30-June 4

NOTE: The focus of this column is 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.

Last week's column (May 23-28)

June 4, 2018

Clayton Kershaw (LHP, LA) – Lower back strain (5/31/18) UPDATE
His MRI showed no further issues with his disks, so this is a basic muscle strain. Of course, that is a significant injury in and of itself. Reminder: very high risk here.
2018 Impact: Very high risk; Potential for longer DL stay than projected
Est. Return: Post All-Star break

Daniel Murphy (2B, WAS) – R knee surgery (10/20/17) UPDATE
We originally covered him in this column. He’s on a rehab assignment but has been having a lot of problems with his knee. We noted originally that in some cases, maximum relief from this type of surgery takes up to two to three years. We expected him to be ready by now, but there may be complications. In addition, microfracture surgery is still experimental, with its benefits more theoretical than empirical. What does all this mean? Possibly more surgery, but definitely a lot more time away.
2018 Impact: Very high risk; Potential for significant missed playing time
Est. Return: Early August (best estimate)

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA) – Strained oblique (5/31/18)
As we’ve noted, obliques can be stubborn to heal. It’s not clear when he originally suffered the injury; it could help explain his awful May. There’s not a lot of information about it, but it doesn’t appear to be a significant tear.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk
Est. Return: Late June

Dustin Pedroia (2B, BOS) – L knee inflammation (5/30/18)
This is the same knee that was operated on in October, which is of course concerning. There’s a good chance that his knee still isn’t right, but these kinds of setbacks are also not unusual for a surgically repaired knee. Given his age and recent history, his risk is extreme.
2018 Impact: Extreme risk; Potential for significant missed time
Est. Return: Late June/early July


June 2, 2018

Mookie Betts (OF, BOS) – Abdominal strain (5/26/18)
According to the team, he could have played if it was the playoffs. Take that with a grain of salt, but it likely means it’s a minor strain. Most strains take 3-4 weeks to clear up, but some can resolve sooner. There is risk if he returns too soon.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk
Est. Return: Mid-June

Josh Donaldson (3B, TOR) – L calf strain (5/28/18)
Before you run and check, it was his right calf in 2017. Same thing, different leg. This appears to be a minor strain, but those can linger, as we saw last year. We’ll project a quicker return this time around.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; High chance of recurrence if he returns too soon
Est. Return: Mid-/late June

David Dahl (OF, COL) – R foot fracture (5/30/18)
Second metatarsal was fractured when he fouled a ball off his foot. The projection is 6-8 weeks, which is pretty typical. There should not be many complications.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk
Est. Return: Mid-July

Clayton Kershaw (LHP, LA) – Lower back strain (5/31/18)
His return to glory lasted all of five innings; such is the life of a player with “F” health. This may be a minor setback, but a similar condition in 2017 cost him nearly six weeks. Recall that in 2016, he was found to have a herniated disk, a condition that doesn’t really heal. That wouldn’t cause a back strain, but it can cause him to adjust his motion, which could cause a strain. Suffice to say that Kershaw now has a significant history of back problems, and could have a flare-up at any time. We’ll project him with a similar time frame as 2017.
2018 Impact: Very high risk
Est. Return: Late June

Alex Reyes (RHP, STL) – Lat strain (5/30/18)
His return to glory lasted all of four innings; such is the life of a player recovering from Tommy John surgery. The team has already announced that this is more than a minor strain. Without more detail, we’ll set our projection in the mid-range of a Grade 2 strain. This is an unfortunate setback for the young hurler.
2018 Impact: He was already pretty high risk; now it’s worse
Est. Return: Mid-July

Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF, PHI) – Jaw fracture (5/28/18) UPDATE
By now, Hoskins owners have gone through an emotional tempest: from “it’s just some lacerations, maybe a few days” to “broken jaw; if surgery needed, 2-3 months.” Fortunately, the answer lies in between. He won’t require surgery, which means a much faster recovery. He’ll still need some time, but there should be no lasting physical effects. Note that players who suffer facial injuries like this do sometimes see increased reluctance to hang in on inside pitches.
2018 Impact: Likely minimal, though some possibility of reduced output
Est. Return: Late June

Kenta Maeda (RHP, LA) – Hip strain (5/30/18)
This appears to be a mild strain; the team is hoping he only misses one start. There aren’t a lot of comps to draw from, but based on what we have, one start seems optimistic. Still, he shouldn’t miss much time.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk
Est. Return: Mid-June

Byron Buxton (OF, MIN) – L toe fracture (4/23/18, 5/29/18) UPDATE
In some sense, we feel vindicated, as he returned about three weeks earlier than our projection, and it turns out he wasn’t fully healed at that point. He’s back on the DL now and will be examined further. (Of course, we don’t like to see talented young players missing time with injuries.) How long he’ll be out is the big question. At this point, we’ll project the extra 3-4 weeks we expected the first time around.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; Risk of reduced production (speed) when he first returns
Est. Return: Late June (best estimate)


May 30, 2018

Noah Syndergaard (RHP, NYM) – R hand, strained finger (5/28/18)
He strained a ligament in his throwing hand. There aren’t a lot of comparisons to go by, so the projection is somewhat speculative, but it’s not a serious injury.
2018 Impact: Likely minimal
Est. Return: Early/mid-June

Matt Shoemaker (RHP, LAA) – R forearm soreness (3/31/18) UPDATE
His arm improved and he was rehabbing when he developed the nerve issue, having surgery on May 29 to correct the compression and repair a tendon. No timetable has been given, but the recovery from nerve decompression can last for several months, so there's a good chance he's done for the season. That's what we'll project for now.
2018 Impact: Possibly out for the season
Est. Return: 2019 (best estimate; will update as more information comes out)

Ronald Acuña (OF, ATL) – L knee sprain, back contusion (5/27/18) UPDATE
This ended up being much less serious than it could have been. He has a mild sprain and is obviously banged up, but he should be able to return relatively quickly with little lasting effects.
2018 Impact: Likely minimal
Est. Return: Mid-June

Rhys Hoskins (OF, PHI) – Facial laceration (5/28/18)
He’ll probably avoid the DL, as this is a minor (though painful) injury that should heal quickly.
2018 Impact: Likely minimal
Est. Return: A couple of days at the most

Adam Ottavino (RHP, COL) – Strained oblique (5/27/18)
Slow news day, as middle relievers don’t usually warrant coverage. Obliques can linger, but the base projection is only a few weeks. There is some chance of recurrence when he first returns.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; Possibility of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-/late June

Click here to subscribe

  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.