Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Fowler on 10-Day DL

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Fowler on 10-Day DL

This article is part of our Fantasy Baseball Injury Report series.

Dexter Fowler

The Cardinals outfielder has battled nagging leg injuries for much of the season, including cramping in his quadriceps. Fortunately, the St. Louis medical team appears to have pinpointed the problem. Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right heel spur, a calcium deposit on the calcaneus bone of the foot.

The calcaneus or heel bone is the largest bone of the foot and serves as an attachment site for multiple muscles of the lower leg and foot. It also serves as a site for weight distribution, transferring most of the body's weight to the ground. The calcaneus and its neighboring structures normally can defer this stress but can be overloaded with repetitive motion or excessive force. This can lead to the buildup of bony tissue at the injury site, resulting in a painful bone spur. With the base of the kinetic chain altered, bone spurs can lead to subsequent issues at multiple sites of the lower extremity. Furthermore, bone spurs often are linked to plantar fasciitis in the foot, another chronic and debilitating injury.

It's good for Fowler's long-term health that the problem has been identified, but it would be unwise to anticipate a quick recovery. Fowler will need time to address the heel spur directly and all the associated symptoms. As a result, I'd be surprised if Fowler is back after 10 days. Look for this to stretch out a bit longer, and elevate his level of injury risk for the remainder of

Dexter Fowler

The Cardinals outfielder has battled nagging leg injuries for much of the season, including cramping in his quadriceps. Fortunately, the St. Louis medical team appears to have pinpointed the problem. Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right heel spur, a calcium deposit on the calcaneus bone of the foot.

The calcaneus or heel bone is the largest bone of the foot and serves as an attachment site for multiple muscles of the lower leg and foot. It also serves as a site for weight distribution, transferring most of the body's weight to the ground. The calcaneus and its neighboring structures normally can defer this stress but can be overloaded with repetitive motion or excessive force. This can lead to the buildup of bony tissue at the injury site, resulting in a painful bone spur. With the base of the kinetic chain altered, bone spurs can lead to subsequent issues at multiple sites of the lower extremity. Furthermore, bone spurs often are linked to plantar fasciitis in the foot, another chronic and debilitating injury.

It's good for Fowler's long-term health that the problem has been identified, but it would be unwise to anticipate a quick recovery. Fowler will need time to address the heel spur directly and all the associated symptoms. As a result, I'd be surprised if Fowler is back after 10 days. Look for this to stretch out a bit longer, and elevate his level of injury risk for the remainder of the season.

Kolten Wong

A pair of elbow injuries is the only blemish on what has been a breakout year for Wong. He missed time earlier in the season with a left elbow injury that was ultimately linked to scar tissue in the joint. After a brief stint on the DL, Wong returned to the field. Unfortunately, his return was brief, as a strain on the opposite elbow forced him back to the inactive list one week later. The specific muscle involved is the triceps, the three-headed muscle located on the posterior aspect of the upper arm. The triceps is primarily responsible for elbow extension (straightening the arm) but also plays a role in shoulder extension. Even the mildest strain can limit the functional movement of these two joints, making throwing a ball and/or swinging a bat difficult. As result, the Cardinals don't anticipate Wong will be ready to return when he is first eligible. However, he has shown progress in his rehab and is expected to begin a rehab assignment within the next few days. If all goes well, fantasy owners should be able to re-insert him in the lineup for next week's matchups. I'm not expecting much of a dip in productivity upon his return.

Check Swings

Zack Cozart: A strained right quadriceps has sent Cozart to the 10-day DL. The strain reportedly is a mild or low-grade injury, and the Reds are optimistic he will miss the minimal amount of time. He was hoping to return to baseball-related activities over the weekend, but an update has yet to be provided. Cozart, the leading vote-getter at the National League shortstop position, should be fine moving forward, but keep an eye out for future developments about his overall health.

Jon Gray: The Rockies success has had an unintended effect on Gray's health. Gray hasn't pitched since mid-April due to a navicular stress fracture in his left foot. Since then, the right-hander has progressed successfully through each phase of his rehab and begun a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque. Colorado had been on a tear over the past few weeks winning 13 of 16 outings before a recent five-game losing streak. As a result, the Rockies were able to slow play Gray's recovery, providing him extra time in Albuquerque to build up his arm and insure his once-ailing foot is completely healed. Gray is slated to return this weekend during a three-game series in Arizona and could provide a nice boost to a team in need of pitching depth.

Dallas Keuchel: The Astros continue to handle Keuchel's recovery conservatively. The 2015 Cy Young winner has begun throwing at 120 feet but has yet to attempt any pitches from the mound. Keuchel is on the DL for the second time this season with neck discomfort linked to a pinched nerve. Fortunately, Houston continues to insist the root of the impingement isn't linked to a disc problem. Fantasy owners have no other choice but to remain patient as it appears Keuchel's return will be sometime after the All-Star break.

Nomar Mazara: Mazara missed a pair of games over the weekend after being struck by an Aroldis Chapman fastball. The incident left him with a bruised right forearm, though he was reportedly available to pinch hit during Sunday's win over the Yankees. The Rangers don't have the benefit of an off day Monday, making Mazara a risky play in weekly formats. Consider him day-to-day for now.

A.J. Pollock: After tightness in his right quadriceps delayed his recovery from his previous groin injury, Pollock was back in action with Triple-A Reno on Sunday. The setback delayed his return by about a week, and Pollock now is targeting a return this weekend against the Rockies. Unfortunately, I'm not overly confident in his ability to avoid another lower extremity injury and consider him a precarious play for the remainder of the season.

Mike Trout: The Angels outfielder has begun hitting off a tee as he continues to advance through his rehab protocol following thumb surgery. It's been a month since Trout tore the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his left thumb, meaning he is still two to four weeks away from returning, according to the initial timeline presented by Los Angeles. There is growing optimism that he could be back on the early end of the projection but expectations should be scaled back upon his return. Trout's grip strength may need additional time to return to pre-injury levels and that would negatively impact his power numbers.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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