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Diamond Cuts: Kemp's Hamstring

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.


Matt Kemp

The Dodgers outfielder is expected to miss at least two weeks recovering from a right hamstring strain. A MRI on the injured muscle revealed a minor strain, meaning there was no tearing of true muscle fibers. However it is important to remember that damaged still occurred to the microfibers that make up the larger components of the muscle and the strain should be taken seriously.

Luckily this is not the hamstring that previously been an issue for Kemp. He spent nearly two months on the disabled list last year with a left hamstring strain, the first significant injury of his career. The fact that the injury occurred in a different leg bodes well for the short-term as he managed to avoid damaging the remodel tissue from last season's injury. However it could be problematic on a grander scale, particularly during rehabilitation.

Kemp will spend his time strengthening the muscle and attempting to improve his range of motion and flexibility. However in the process he could put undue stress on his previously injured left leg, leaving it vulnerable to re-injury. The Dodgers medical staff will do their best to insure no muscle imbalances are created during the healing process but his intrinsic level of injury risk increases.

History isn't exactly on Kemp's side either as several notable players, including Jose Reyes and Nelson Cruz, have dealt with chronic hamstring issues in both legs. Still the Dodgers staff is one of the best with biomechanical analysis and will do all they can to insure Kemp is back and playing on two healthy legs, even if it means a longer DL-stint that initially expected.

Brett Lawrie

Lawrie is an interesting player when it comes to injuries. Similarly to Troy Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays shortstop has endured both chronic muscular ailments as well as unpredictable, unfortunate injuries. His current injury falls in the latter category as his sprained left ankle was the result of an unlucky awkward slide into second. The mechanism of injury is typical for a lateral ankle sprain but luckily he avoided a high ankle sprain. Still the effected ankle remains swollen and the team has already placed him on the 15-day DL. The turf in Toronto will play a factor in his return as the surface is generally unyielding and can be hard on recovering joints. A mid-June return remains possible but don't be surprised to see this linger.

Stephen Strasburg

Strasburg owners are a conflicted bunch. They have to be pleased to see Strasburg's recent injury has nothing to do with his surgically-repaired elbow or his shoulder. However their patience has to be running understandably thin as the young hurler just can't seem to stay healthy for an extended stretch.
 
Strasburg's injury has been diagnosed as a strained latissimus dorsi, an injury that has already affected multiple pitchers this season including Matt Garza and Johnny Cueto. The lat is located on the back and runs along the thoracic spine before inserting on the humerus near the shoulder. This location allows it to play a role in multiple shoulder movements including raising your arm, rotating inward, and bringing the arm away from the body. It also aids in side-to-side bending and backward bending.
 
The location of the injury is key as tears near the shoulder are considered more serious. Fortunately Strasburg's minor strain is located in the back portion, away from the shoulder. The Nationals are hopeful he will avoid a trip the DL but I have my doubts. Cueto missed over a month recovering from his lat strain and Garza missed nearly two months with his. Strasburg's strain may be considered less severe but a return in less than a week appears optimistic. He won't attempt to throw until Wednesday making him a risky play in weekly leagues.

Check Swings

Adrian Beltre: Like Kemp, Beltre is battling a sore hammy. A MRI revealed a mild strain of his left hamstring but the Rangers anticipate he will be able to play at some point in their upcoming three-game series against the Red Sox. Beltre is another player that has had previous hamstring injuries making the situation slightly more serious than it sounds.

Jacoby Ellsbury: Given his recent damage on the base path, it appears the only thing that can slow the Red Sox outfielder is a groin injury. Ellsbury has been a spectator for Boston's last three outings with a left groin strain after he pilfered five bases against the Phillies. The injury has shown noticeable improvement over the past four days and it looks like he won't miss any more time.

Bryce Harper: The Nationals had hoped Harper would avoid the DL but continued swelling on his injured left knee forced their hand. The move was retroactive to May 26 meaning a June 11 return is possible. However Harper recently revealed his knee was hurting before the collision with the outfield wall and any improvements have been minimal.

Ian Kinsler: Kinsler's injury is worse than feared as the Rangers revealed the All-Star has a stress reaction in his sore ribs. A stress reaction is the precursor to a stress fracture and will need amble time to heal. He's hoping to return in three weeks but a July return is more plausible.

Brandon Phillips: Phillips will remain sidelined for at least three games after getting hit in the left forearm by a stray pitch. A x-ray ruled out a fracture but the soft tissue damage is effecting Phillips' grip. He should be back by the weekend but a safer option should be utilized in weekly leagues.

David Price: The Cy Young winner is making progress in his rehab for a triceps strain. He has completed long toss and could throw from the mound by the weekend. While he still has plenty of hurdles to clear before we see him back in the rotation, reports of continued progression is a welcome bit of news.

Pablo Sandoval: Kung Fu Panda remains hobbled by a strain in his left foot. He's hoping a day off on Monday will provide enough rest for a Tuesday return but there's a chance this lingers further into the week, especially when you consider Sandoval's girth.