Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell
Send your questions now and join Bell in The Show on Friday at 11 a.m. ET!
Stephania Bell (11:00 AM)
Good morning and welcome to the injury chat! It is multi-sport season right now, and with every sport, there is every kind of injury. Thanks for coming -let's get to your questions!
What's the latest news on Gates, Harrison, and DJ Hackett? Who will/won't play and be limited?
Stephania Bell (11:06 AM)
Hi Ryan: Three players everyone wants to know something about. Here's what we know so far: Gates: dislocated big toe, still very painful, as of Thursday he was still in a boot. His first test would come Sunday, if he could go - and even if he does, this is a painful deal, he's not likely to be super effective. Harrison: doing much better in practice, running well, really expected to play this time Hackett: reinjured his ankle in practice Weds and missed Thursday, now his ankle is sore, Holmgren calling him a GTD. My guess is that he will be active for the game, but maybe not utilized as much if the ankle is really problematic, esp since it looks like Branch will be back this wk-end.
brad (harrisburg, pa)
plain and simple: is Jermaine O'Neal gonna play Saturday? should i expect to see a lot more DNP's?
Stephania Bell (11:08 AM)
Hi Brad: O'Neal sat out Weds game with what is being called a "sore" left knee - not much to go on. But the word is he is not expected to practice during the Pacers road trip which ends Sunday. I would not count on him for Saturday at this point, but it also doesn't look like a long-term problem.
Sam (Woodstock, IL)
What is the latest news on Nikolai Zherdev's injury and how much time will he miss?
Stephania Bell (11:11 AM)
Hi Sam: Zherdev suffered a quad injury during an open-ice check on Tuesday and missed all of the 3rd period. Originally it was reported that he was expected to miss Fri andSat games, but on Thurs Zherdev insisted he would play Fri night. Coach Hitchcock says he wants to decide after the morning skate today so it's a possibility, but not definitive yet. Doesn't sound like a bad contusion or he would not be able to skate around that quickly.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Always good to hear from you Stephania. I know it won't apply until next season but is Larry Johnson expected to be back at full strength or will his injury be chronic throughout the remainder of his career?
Stephania Bell (11:14 AM)
Hi JB: There are a number of variables at work there making it hard to say with any certainty what the long-term effect will be, if any. I will say that I am somewhat apprehensive about his status headed into next year, given that he did not completely rest the foot, and that he either suffered a setback, or at the very least, couldn't progress enough to return. He wasn't having an outstanding year as it was, and when he finally did start the year off, he looked rusty. His performance in spring workouts (which should give his foot enough time to heal if all goes well) will be a good indicator of what to expect.
D Branch, is he suiting up? And who do you have in the games this week Ms Bell?
Stephania Bell (11:16 AM)
Hi Jeremy: It looks like Branch will be back from the calf strain that kept him out last week. Holmgren says it looks like he'll play, Branch says ther's no doubt he'll play. Although they have limited his activity, he is reportedly running very well in practice this week. As for me, I am playing in our Gridiron playoff challenge, and I haven't yet set a lineup for this week. Still scouting.
Any word on Terrell Owen's injury and likelihood he'll play?
Stephania Bell (11:20 AM)
Hi Zach: T.O. certainly made it interesting by showing up in practice, running pretty well and insisting he'll play. There's no way he's 100% from this injury by Sunday, but having said that, there's also a strong chance he plays, and if he's on the field he presents a threat. There is a bit of concern about reinjury and if he were to suddenly experience more soreness, or limp around more, then they might hold him out. I doubt very much this will happen. I expect him to play, maybe be the target on some deep play balls if they can get him wide open, but expect Dallas to spread the ball around.
Jamaal (Mount Laurel, NJ)
I enjoy your chats Stephania, but Jermaine O'Neal's injury doesn't look like a long-term problem? Any injury with JO is a long-term problem!
Stephania Bell (11:21 AM)
OK Jamaal - point taken, but I guess what we're saying here is that there is no official medical reason why this incident should be a big threat
would u rather have a banged up to or plaxico
Stephania Bell (11:22 AM)
Dylan: Tough question. Plaxico has looked better of late, despite the bad ankle, and T.O.'s injury is certainly fresher, which I don't like. But given how TO has already looked in practice, and given the big play threat that he always presents, I think I'd have to go with him.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Sorry to bother you with a hockey question but do you have a time table on the return of Marc-Andre Fluery in Pittsburgh?
Stephania Bell (11:25 AM)
Hi J.B. Not a bother at all! Fleury's timetable has not been updated from the last report I had which was late January at the earliest. He had a high ankle sprain and had progressed to skating in shorts late December, and has not returned to practice as far as I know - but I will try to check out his status and further update it in the next week.
whats the deal with wes welkers status for saturdays game?
Stephania Bell (11:28 AM)
Hi Mike: Welker was limited in Weds/Thurs practice due to a "team decision" which means that we don't really know - the Patriots just decided to hold him back. Often a team decision is the reason given if a player has a head injury or sometimes an illness, but sometimes if the team just wants a player to rest, they'll give this designation. I fully expect him to play and be fine for Saturday's game.
Brian (Richmond, VA)
Chargers are saying Gates is working his butt off and they are hopeful he can play. ESPN and NFL Network, are already saying NO WAY he plays and he is OUT. So, whats the truth behind the Gates injury situation?
Stephania Bell (11:31 AM)
Hi Brian: Based on the type of injury Gates had, everyone is saying there is no way he can come back this soon. Remember Anquan Boldin had a dislocated toe and it affected him for several weeks, and it wasn't the big toe. The big toe is much more crucial for pushing off and pivoting, and if it hurts, it's almost impossible to overcome (and it's probably very swollen and stiff, meaning it won't bend how it should). With Gates still in a boot, I would have to say, all signs point to him not playing. BUT - the team will not rule him out so that he rehabs as hard as he can, and everything is done with the mindset that he could go, even if it is highly unlikely, because it is a good motivator, and if suddenly he were to improve remarkably (happens occasionally), it is easier to move him in through the quesitonable designation, then to rule him out and not be able to get him back in the lineup. Frankly, I don't think he'll play, but I understand why the Chargers are leaving it open.
Mike (San Jose, CA)
Baseball question...Any word on how the rehabbing is going on Hanley's surgically repaired shoulder, thanks?
Stephania Bell (11:35 AM)
Hi Mike: Honestly, I haven't heard too much - but within a couple weeks after we really get into our pre-baseballr esearch, I should know more. Ramirez had surgery to stabilize his shoulder and there was a bit of a question as to whether he'd be fully ready to go by spring training. I would expect him to be close, even if they're limiting his activity during spring training as a protective measure - I think he'll be fully ready - and keep in mind that shoulder was a problem for much of the second half of last season - so I think he will be in much better shape headed into this year. Would not be discouraged if he has a slow start in spring training.
will "to" be called a selfish player again for tring to comeback from his injury like he was called in phili.
Stephania Bell (11:37 AM)
Matt: Interesting question. I haven't really heard that vibe this time around. Last time (Philly) he came back AMA (against medical advice) because he had surgery, and there was legitimate concern that he could refracture the leg. Luckily for him, it worked out OK. This time, it is a sprain only, and although he could reinjure it, the sprain did not appear too severe when it happened b/c he could walk on it, and there is no risk of re-fracture since that wasn't something that happened in the first place. A little less dramatic if he returns this time.
Trent (San Francisco)
We must know, have u been whipping pod vader back into shape so you guys can get back into the studio?
Stephania Bell (11:39 AM)
Trent: Whipping him from afar. He's still home recovering but i'm on him to do his rehab so he can get back in there and start taking care of us again. He'll be happy to know people are asking about him! He's been wallowing in some self pity so we have to keep encouraging him - but I think he's going to make it!
Brand, Livingston, Ford, Arenas: who plays again this season?
Stephania Bell (11:42 AM)
Dave: None of them, obviously, are a lock. In fact, most don't look that good to play this year. I think Brand has the best chance, assuming that he stays on course recovering from his Achilles injury. Livingston had the worst of the injuries, and although he's doing well, I say why rush it. Arenas could, but with microfracture being so delicate, there is no way they jeapordize career for it. Ford's case is just going to be very conservative and slow - so not confident he makes it back this year.
Cory (Austin, TX)
Please take a basketball question lovely Stephania: Any news on Elton Brand? He is available on the waiver wire, any advice?
Stephania Bell (11:44 AM)
Hi Cory: Just a follow-up to the last post. It is a gamble if you pick up Brand. You may not get any use out of him. If you do, it may only be for a handful of games. If you can afford to take up space on your roster, it's a consideration, but honestly, I would look elsewhere for someone who can realistically help your cause.
Stephania...you are beautiful AND intelligent...quite a combinaion. Do you think Rudi J. will be back healthy and starting for cincy next season or will Kenny Watson take hold of the job?
Stephania Bell (11:46 AM)
John: You are too kind. I think Johnson has a good chance of being fully healthy - he just never had the time during the regular season to completely recover from what was obviously a severe hamstring injury. The problem is that now we are seeing durability issues for the first time with Johnson, something we never saw before. So the question becomes, will it be easier for him to break down now. And it is a legitimate team concern. Watson proved that he could perform well when Johnson was out - and don't forget Irons comes back from an ACL reconstruction (although it may be tough for him to crack his way into the lineup). I think Watson legitimately challenges Johnson for the starting position next year.
How about Tj Ford any good news
Stephania Bell (11:50 AM)
Rico: So specifically the news on Ford is that he's pain-free from the latest incident. The concern came b/c they dicovered that he has spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, which means that he is more susceptible to injury (especially stinger type injuries) than the next person, so he was meeting with specialists to evaluate just how much risk there was, could he fully return, etc. Good news - they expect him to make a full recovery, return to sport, etc. But now he has to work his way back and get into game shape, and they will not let him back b/c of the condition until he is for sure 100%. Which is why I'm not confident he makes it back this year - it's possible, not probable.
Hey Stephania which injury most impacts the nfl weekend?
Stephania Bell (11:53 AM)
Mike: I'm sure there could be much debate over this - but I think it will be Harrison's return - because of all the uncertainty aorund it. He might return for just a few series - or he might return and play most of the game (I actually think it will be the latter). Chargers have to prepare for him, yet be prepared for alternate scenarios. He could have a huge impact if he plays well.
mike (newport beach, ca)
what do you see from a fantasy standpoint the ray allen injury? is it going to be a nagging injury where he may have to sit a game here and there
Stephania Bell (11:57 AM)
Mike: Great question - b/c thatmay very well be the case. Unfortunately, with a lot of these spine injuries, that is the unknown. At first it sounded like he would miss more time, b/c he was having numbness into his fingers (which is why he sat out Weds) - but apparently yesterday he was feeling much better and he is expected to return tonight. A pinched nerve usually means ther eis inflammation however, and it doesn't jsut disappear overnight. If something provokes inflammation, the symptoms can return. So it's a total unknown. I would say if he comes back tonight and plays hard, without problem for 2-3 consecutvie games, then you can consider this episode resolved and worry less over time. If he is hurting after attempting to return tonight, I'd be much more wary about the rest of the season.
Wasn't TJ Ford's condition discovered in or before college? Or is there something else that is new. I've known he had a narrowing of the spine condition for years.
Stephania Bell (11:59 AM)
Jack: Yes, they do physicals to screen for these types of things. But, once it's compunded by a more serious injury they go back and re-evaluate. Has the condition progressed? Has something else happened to make it more dangerous for him to return? Then they re-examine the safety of returning the player to action. So did not mean to imply the condition was totally new, but rather that they had to go back and re-evaluate the situation now that this injury occurred.
Stephania Bell (12:01 PM)
Thanks everyone for coming. Time for me to sign out. Appreciate the multi-sport questions since we are rotating between so many right now. Good luck in your fantasy games and we'll talk again, same time next week.