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Diamond Cuts: A Pain in the Foot

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

Brett Anderson

Anderson's bad luck continues but this time it has nothing to do with his shoulder or elbow. Anderson will miss at least six weeks after a bone scan revealed a stress fracture in the navicular bone of his right foot. The navicular is a small bone located in the mid-foot. It is a key component in weight transfer, making it vital that the bone completely heals so that Anderson can properly complete his pitching motion.

Unfortunately the bone often takes an extended period of time to heal and improper healing is a real risk. Anderson will be in the walking boot for four weeks and then have the foot reexamined. If there are any signs of delayed healing or bone displacement during the follow-up, surgery would become a strong possibility.

It may be time to move on for fantasy owners given Anderson's current injury woes and his lengthy injury history. Oakland brought up former Red Sox left-hander Hideki Okajima from Triple-A Sacramento to bolster the bullpen with Dan Straily remaining in the starting rotation.

Jaime Garcia

Another chronically injured pitcher was sent to the disabled list over the week as St. Louis placed Garcia on the 15-day DL with a shoulder injury. Garcia missed the end of the 2012 season and all of the postseason with fraying of the labrum in his same shoulder. Three doctors advised Garcia to undergo surgery before Dr. James Andrews advised against it. Garcia will meet with Dr. Andrews at some point this week to determine the course of treatment for the current issue and it sounds like surgery remains a likely scenario.

Garcia's issue is an impingement, meaning the tightly compacted space of the shoulder is pinching on the various structures within the shoulder. The rotator cuff muscles are particularly vulnerable to damage, leading to pain, weakness, and physical limitation. The final word on recovery should come later in the week but it sounds like Garcia owners need to be making back up plans quickly.

Ian Kinsler

The Rangers will send Kinsler to DL with a rib injury. The problem first began when a ball struck the former All-Star in his side as he slid to complete a stolen base. He was able to play through the injury until a Justin Verlander caught hit him in the side. The injury is being called a right intercostal strain, suggesting the damage occurred from Kinsler's attempt to avoid the wild pitch rather than the impact itself.

The intercostal muscles vary from the better-known oblique muscle groups. The intercostals sit between each individual rib and are used to raise and drop the rib cage during breathing. For a better frame of reference, the meat on a plate of short ribs is the intercostals. The injury acts similarly to an oblique strain, limiting trunk rotation, but generally heals more quickly.

This particular injury garners more attention since the DL stint provides the Rangers the opportunity to activate top prospect Jurickson Profar. Profar was slated to play second base on Monday but will continue to split time with Leury Garcia. However should Profar continue to hit like has in the minors, he could make a case to stick around longer than the expected 15 days Kinsler will spend on the DL.

Alexi Ogando

Texas has issues with their pitching staff as well, as Ogando joins Kinsler on the DL. Ogando is suffering from biceps tendinitis in his throwing arm and a MRI revealed no structural damage.

The biceps muscle is a two-headed muscle that allows for bending at the elbow and a motion known as supination.  Everyone is familiar with the biceps as it's the predominant muscle flexed to display strength. However people tend to realize that the biceps originates on the shoulder blade. The short head of the muscle attaches to a bony prominence on the scapula known as the coracoid while the long head attaches to supraglenoid tubercle. The long head actually runs within the cavity of the glenohumeral joint and helps stabilize the humeral head while throwing. It exits the cavity through the bicepital groove, an indentation in the humerus bone. Unfortunately this location makes the tendon very vulnerable to impingement and inflammation.  Biceps tendinitis is best treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medication, precisely what the Rangers will provide to Ogando.

Ogando's role with Texas has fluctuated as he has bounced back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen. The ever-changing role along with a limited pitching arsenal makes him vulnerable to potential shoulder and elbow problems. Furthermore he experienced soreness in this biceps toward the end of last season, suggesting mechanics could play a factor. He isn't expected to miss much time but his risk for the remainder of the years remains high.

David Price

The Rays placed Price on the DL for the first time in his career with a strained left triceps following his early departure against Boston. The reigning Cy Young winner hopes to return in the minimal amount of time but would be smart to proceed with caution during rehabilitation.

The triceps plays a key role in pitching mechanics, working to straighten the elbow while providing stabilization for the joint. It attaches to the olecranon process, a bony process that also serves as an attachment site for the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow. A weakened triceps could place the UCL at risk for injury, making it crucial that the muscle is properly cared for to insure the integrity of the neighboring ligament.

The team has not established a set timeline for Price's return but did indicate they do not think it will have any long-term ramifications. Expect him to miss at least two starts with a third being a strong possibility.

Check Swings

Andrew Bailey: Bailey has progressed smoothly in his rehab protocol and will be activated Monday. He will resume the closer role after missing the last three weeks with biceps soreness.

Bryce Harper: Harper's collision with the outfield wall left him bruised and bloodied. Stitches were needed to close a laceration on his chin and he was cleared of a concussion despite lingering nausea. However swelling in his left leg has persisted, keeping him out of the lineup over the weekend. He hopes to return Monday against the Giants.

Andrew McCutchen: A MRI taken on McCuthen's sore right knee failed to reveal any significant findings and he is not expected to miss any more time after getting Sunday off to rest. The Pirates do not play Monday providing the outfielder an additional day of treatment.

Jered Weaver: Out since early April with a fractured elbow in his non-throwing arm, Weaver hopes to start an extended spring training game on Wednesday before beginning a rehab assignment. While all reports have been positive, don't count on the three-time All-Star returning until early June.