Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Back at the Wright Time

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Back at the Wright Time

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

Jake McGee
The Rays reliever has pitched well since returning from an elbow debridement performed in the offseason, posting a 2.57 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Unfortunately, it appears he may not get a chance to improve on those numbers after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee. He underwent surgery Friday and is expected to miss at least six weeks. McGee underwent a meniscectomy, meaning the damaged cartilage was simply removed from the area, which was similar to his previous elbow surgery. Opting for a removal rather than a repair gives McGee the outside chance of returning this season, though the Rays' place in the playoff race will play a major factor. If the team falls out of the running for one of the two American League wildcard spots, look for Tampa to play it safely with McGee and hold him out for the remainder of the year. As a result, fantasy owners should feel comfortable moving on, especially when you consider that a healthy McGee was never able to supplant Brad Boxberger from the closer role.

Glen Perkins
The Twins reliever returned ahead of schedule, pitching a scoreless inning Sunday in the team's extra innings win over the Orioles. Perkins had missed the previous six days with a bulging disc in his neck. He received two cortisone injections to treat the injury and had initially planned to sit out a full week. However, the circumstances of Sunday's game forced the Twins' hand and Perkins returned a bit early.

Jake McGee
The Rays reliever has pitched well since returning from an elbow debridement performed in the offseason, posting a 2.57 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Unfortunately, it appears he may not get a chance to improve on those numbers after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee. He underwent surgery Friday and is expected to miss at least six weeks. McGee underwent a meniscectomy, meaning the damaged cartilage was simply removed from the area, which was similar to his previous elbow surgery. Opting for a removal rather than a repair gives McGee the outside chance of returning this season, though the Rays' place in the playoff race will play a major factor. If the team falls out of the running for one of the two American League wildcard spots, look for Tampa to play it safely with McGee and hold him out for the remainder of the year. As a result, fantasy owners should feel comfortable moving on, especially when you consider that a healthy McGee was never able to supplant Brad Boxberger from the closer role.

Glen Perkins
The Twins reliever returned ahead of schedule, pitching a scoreless inning Sunday in the team's extra innings win over the Orioles. Perkins had missed the previous six days with a bulging disc in his neck. He received two cortisone injections to treat the injury and had initially planned to sit out a full week. However, the circumstances of Sunday's game forced the Twins' hand and Perkins returned a bit early.

When an intravertebral disc becomes inflamed it will often extend into the spinal column, irritating the neighboring nerves. As a result, the affected individual often reports pain in the area and soreness and weakness in the muscles innervated by that particular nerve or nerves. Disc injuries, especially those in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) regions, can be very problematic for athletes as they can affect the upper and lower extremities.

The cortisone injections will help reduce the "bulge" of the disc and Perkins should get a relief from the associated pain. However, if the reason for the inflammation goes untreated, the symptoms could easily return. As a result, Perkins owners may want to look into adding Kevin Jepsen as an insurance policy. Minnesota could also elect to ease Perkins back into the closer role, giving Jepsen a chance at poaching a few saves over the next few games.

CC Sabathia
The 2007 Cy Young winner is once again dealing with problems in his right knee, which has been an issue for over a year now. He underwent a debridement procedure in July 2014 and attempted to alter his mechanics to prevent putting additional stress on and through the joint. Unfortunately, even that hasn't helped and the 35-year-old left-hander had fluid drained from the area shortly before the All-Star break. He also received an anti-inflammatory injection early last week but was simply unable to pitch through the discomfort Sunday. A MRI did not reveal a new injury, suggesting the issue is related to a general wear-and-tear condition like arthritis. A DL stint seems inevitable and it wouldn't be shocking to see this end his season. The return of Michael Pineda will help ease the loss of Sabathia and it appears the Yankees will move forward with their plan to use a six-man rotation. Cut Sabathia loose if you were still holding out hope for a return to previous form.

Check Swings

Alex Gordon
Gordon started his rehab assignment Sunday in impressive fashion, crushing a two-run homer for Triple-A Omaha. The Royals outfielder is working his way back from a severe groin strain. The initial timeline provided by the team estimated an eight-week recovery window, with Gordon now entering week seven. He was the designated hitter Sunday and will return to limited action in the field in Omaha's next game. If all goes well, he could be back Sept. 1 though the team's success buys him a bit of time.

Kendall Graveman
The Oakland starter suffered a strained oblique over the weekend and his availability for the remainder of the season is in flux. Oblique strains directly effect rotation of the body and are very difficult to pitch with or through. A trip to the DL following this type of injury is relatively common and given the timing of the injury, there's a strong chance the last-place A's opt to shut the rookie down for the year. Graveman has shown flashes this season and could be a low-risk keeper option. Those in yearly formats should look for alternatives.

Joe Panik
The All-Star second baseman continues to work his way back from lower back inflammation. He hasn't suffered a setback during his rehab but he is progressing slower than the Giants had hoped. Fortunately, he managed to hit off a tee over the weekend and hopes to be back with the big league club by the first week of September. Back injuries can be finicky so keep an eye on his progress over the next few days, but it does appear he's finally making some headway in his attempt to return.

Addison Russell
The Cubs shortstop left Sunday's game against the Braves with tightness in his groin. The team is downplaying the severity of the injury though he was not in the starting lineup Monday. It looks like he will avoid an extended absence but I wouldn't be surprised to see him miss a few more outings. As a result, he becomes somewhat of a risky play in weekly formats, so consider a more reliable middle infielder.

David Wright
After missing the last four months with spinal stenosis in his lower back, Captain America will return Monday. Wright has previously shown he's capable of producing big numbers following an injury, most notably in 2011 when he hit .455 in his first ten games back following a stress fracture in his back. However, the numbers didn't last and he struggled for the remainder of the season. Furthermore, New York has already admitted they plan on limiting his time in the field so don't prematurely rush to add him to your fantasy roster. Juan Uribe remains the everyday third baseman, making Wright an unpredictable fantasy option.

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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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