Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to chat all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Bell is a physical therapist who is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist as well as being a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She is a clinician, author and teacher with extensive experience in sports medicine. An avid fantasy player, Bell spent time at Rotowire.com and on XM Radio's fantasy sports show before joining ESPN.
Bell earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Master's in physical therapy from the University of Miami. A native of San Francisco, Bell roots shamelessly for the 49ers and Giants.
Send your questions now and join Bell Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
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Stephania Bell (2:00 PM)
Hello all. Hope it was a happy and safe 4th. It wasn't too happy for a few injured athletes...which is why we're here to talk about them. Here we go...
Matthew (Syracuse, NY)
In your opinion, how likey is Neymar to play in the WC final? How serious is a fractured vertebrae? And what is rehab time like?
Stephania Bell (2:03 PM)
Hi Matthew: We start with a little WC discussion. Neymar is definitely out for the remainder of the WC. His physician came out and made it clear that despite speculation from elsewhere that he might be able to return with some alternative treatments that is simply not the case. Normally 4-6 weeks for a fracture to heal. You have to add in conditioning time (he might be able to resume some conditioning sooner depending on symptoms) but to be fit enough to not only play a full soccer match but to be able to potentially absorb contact again, probably looking at closer to a couple months. Team has said approx 45 days. We'll see how he progresses.
Hi Stephania, do you think that this will be a lost year for Votto?
Stephania Bell (2:08 PM)
Keanu: I do. We need to remember that Reds GM Walt Jocketty came out in early June and said there was a strong possibility that Votto would not be 100% the remainder of the season. Well, not only is he not 100%, he's struggling just to get through games, hence the potential for another DL stint. This knee is problematic and it's not likely to become magically problem-free before the season ends. The question is how functional can he be? I think he can be better than he is now but not the Votto we'd like.
Derrick (Garden City)
Hey Stephania, are you more concerned about Andrew Cashner or Cliff Lee?
Stephania Bell (2:12 PM)
Derrick: A bit of an apples and oranges question. And numerous variables. Cashner worries me because he's had elbow problems, now shoulder issues in his throwing arm, all of a vague nature. While the "no structural damage" report is somewhat reassuring, the uncertainty isn't. Cliff Lee has been slow to return but that's not necessarily a bad thing. We haven't seen enough in his rehab outings to feel he's out of the woods yet and he has a ton of mileage on his arm but I at least feel a bit better about his trajectory thus far.
Eric(Indy) [via mobile]
Hey Stephania, I know it's still a little early for fantasy football questions, but will Ahmad Bradshaw or Vick Ballard be a better handcuff pick for Trent Richardson owners?
Stephania Bell (2:16 PM)
Eric: Not too early! Camps are just around the corner. The problem with this particular scenario is we don't really know yet. Ballard was out since Week 2 with a torn ACL and Bradshaw out since Week 3 (I think) with the neck issue that required surgery. Both are expected to participate in camp although I wouldn't be surprised if they are brought along gradually.And then we will see who is emerging as the likely No. 2.
Stuart (Brooklyn, NY)
I heard Encarnacion will be out 2-4 weeks. Your thoughts when he's back? How are you feeling these days? Better?
Stephania Bell (2:20 PM)
Stuart: Thanks so much for asking. My knee is improving. Not quite as quick to recover as the 20-somethings but that's to be expected. I have great PTs and MDs in my corner though!As for Encarnacion, sounds like more than a Grade 1 strain, given the initial projection but the variability in time is given because guys heal at different rates. Sometimes something that looks as if it will take close to a month improves so much in the first few days that the total time is significantly less. He did say he felt a "pop" so little hints like that suggest more recovery time. I would not plan on anything sooner than 3 weeks to allow time for him to fully test it prior to returning.
Thanks for touching on Votto above. Any news on Wacha's latest MRI today? What are they looking for, and what will it mean for his timeframe?
Stephania Bell (2:23 PM)
Adam: You're welcome. Haven't heard any results from Wacha's latest MRI; it's not uncommon for an athlete to undergo serial imaging studies so they can evaluate whether the bone is progressing in its repair. Remember when the diagnosis was first issued they said there was already evidence of healing. Now they want to see if that has improved any further. Based on the healing progression they determine when he can start to resume activity (and safely stress the area). Doesn't necessarily shave much, if any, time off (of course they have not given an official timetable) but is used as a yardstick to evaluate how things are going.
Matthew (LA, CA)
When will Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer return to action?
Stephania Bell (2:29 PM)
Matthew: The hope is that CarGo could possibly return late this week. If a few rehab games go well, that is the plan (to get him game action in advance of the ASB). THe best news is that he indicated that fouling the ball off the bat is not bothering his finger. It was bothering him before he had the surgical procedure so clearly the intervention helped. Now it's primarily an issue of him getting enough ABs to feel comfortable back in the lineup, presuming no setbacks.As far as Cuddyer,he had a fracture of the glenoid (socket part of the shoulder joint) and they need to be sure it has healed enough to allow him to resume even light baseball activity. He's still at least a month away from returning.
Jean Claude (Vermont)
Will Derek Holland be ready to pitch in the majors by the end of July?
Stephania Bell (2:32 PM)
Jean Claude: It sounds like that will be the case. But today is the day the Rangers were slated to re-evaluate him to determine whether or not he's ready for a rehab assignment. If they deem him ready, presume a few starts and likely a late July return.
Hi Stephania, hope you had a good 4th. Who do you expect to have a better bounce back year, Arian Foster or Doug Martin? Thanks
Stephania Bell (2:35 PM)
Will: Thanks, it was nice and quiet. Even worked a little with the Neymar injury happening. Hope yours was nice too. I have more confidence in Foster, primarily because of what he has done in the past. I think the hamstring issues may have been linked to the back troubles so he could be in line for a much better year. Martin was struggling last year when he got hurt and while I presume his recovery to be 100% there are more unknowns in Tampa to contend with than in Texas.
When will Trevor May be back from the calf injury? Already out of the Futures game, is he out of the Twins rotation until September?
Stephania Bell (2:38 PM)
Tim: Don't know that it's that long. Young guys with a mild calf strain worry me less than older guys with the same injury. They were probably (wisely) being proactive in ensuring it doesn't get worse. But I don't see it preventing him from contributing sooner than September.
Another pitching injury question: is Dallas Keuchel just going to pitch through his wrist inflammation, or will the Astros give serious thought to a DL stint? If so, how long should we expect he'd be out?
Stephania Bell (2:40 PM)
Adam: Another one of those vague "inflammation" injuries with no clarity as to what the source of the problem is. Makes it harder to assess from a distance. Sounds like he's pitching through for now although maybe Weds outing will influence that decision. If he struggles again and it appears the wrist is to blame, the DL might be an option.
Putting aside when Cliff Lee actually returns (here's to hoping late July), how do you think he'll look onces he's back on a big league mound? How much will the elbow still affect him?
Stephania Bell (2:44 PM)
Jeremy: I don't think they'll put him back out there if they're not all (including Lee) convinced that he can be his usual self on the mound. We don't have too much to go by yet as he hasn't done much of anything in the way of rehab starts.
Any word or update on DJ Hayden and his ankle/foot/leg in Oakland?
Stephania Bell (2:47 PM)
Shawn: Not yet. He was in the boot at minicamp and with them off until camp opens in late July, we won't hear (or see) anything until then. He's had a bit of a rough start to the NFL, not only recovering from his very scary college injury but with a few other ailments since. Hopefully he'll be good to go by camp and going forward.
Wil Myers on the comeback trail or is it likely a lost season for him? Reports had him at 7-8 weeks to get back when he was initially put on DL and it's been around 5 so far.
Stephania Bell (2:53 PM)
BD: Don't think it's a lost season...at least it's too early to say that. The main goal initially is to ensure the fracture has healed to the point where he can do all baseball activity without risk. Have not heard the latest status on that yet so hard to gauge where he stands.
Stephania Bell (2:56 PM)
Thanks to all who stopped by to chat today. Always a pleasure. There will be much to talk about going forward post-ASB with the second half of baseball and NFL Camps on the way. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy.