Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Kershaw Suffers SI Joint Inflammation

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Kershaw Suffers SI Joint Inflammation

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

Ronald Acuna

The Braves outfielder has been surprisingly aggressive on the basepath since returning from last season's torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee. Acuna recorded a stolen base in three consecutive outings before suffering a mild groin injury. The team has not officially provided a diagnosis for the injury, opting instead to call the problem mild discomfort or soreness. An MRI failed to undercover any serious damage, and it seems likely this is a mild groin strain. It's not uncommon for players working their way back from ACL surgery to suffer soft tissue strains of the lower extremities, but it sounds like Acuna should avoid the injured list. He is targeting Tuesday as a possible return to action after successfully running the bases Monday. Still, Atlanta could opt to reduce his steal attempts when he does return to help reduce the chances of an aggravation or recurrence.

 Clayton Kershaw

The Dodgers veteran leftie has landed on the injured list with right sacroiliac (SI) joint inflammation. The SI joint is formed from the lower portion of the spine known as the sacrum and the Ilium bone of the pelvis. This location allows the SI joint to provide stability while also enabling it to absorb the various stresses placed on and through the spine. The assorted types of stress are then transferred between the back and lower extremities. Unfortunately, injuries to the SI joint can result in pain and functional limitation in the lower back, hips and, occasionally, further

Ronald Acuna

The Braves outfielder has been surprisingly aggressive on the basepath since returning from last season's torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee. Acuna recorded a stolen base in three consecutive outings before suffering a mild groin injury. The team has not officially provided a diagnosis for the injury, opting instead to call the problem mild discomfort or soreness. An MRI failed to undercover any serious damage, and it seems likely this is a mild groin strain. It's not uncommon for players working their way back from ACL surgery to suffer soft tissue strains of the lower extremities, but it sounds like Acuna should avoid the injured list. He is targeting Tuesday as a possible return to action after successfully running the bases Monday. Still, Atlanta could opt to reduce his steal attempts when he does return to help reduce the chances of an aggravation or recurrence.

 Clayton Kershaw

The Dodgers veteran leftie has landed on the injured list with right sacroiliac (SI) joint inflammation. The SI joint is formed from the lower portion of the spine known as the sacrum and the Ilium bone of the pelvis. This location allows the SI joint to provide stability while also enabling it to absorb the various stresses placed on and through the spine. The assorted types of stress are then transferred between the back and lower extremities. Unfortunately, injuries to the SI joint can result in pain and functional limitation in the lower back, hips and, occasionally, further down the lower extremity.

SI joint inflammation is often more of an annoying problem than a significant injury, but it's not surprising to see the Dodgers medical team act quickly and aggressively with treatment considering Kershaw's lengthy history of lower back and hip problems. Kershaw has received an injection directly to the area and has already reported an improvement. The hope he can toss a bullpen session on Wednesday and are optimistic he will miss the minimal amount of time. However, look for Los Angeles to exhibit patience with his return and even the slightest setback could delay his return.

Tylor Megill

The Mets right-hander had put together a respectable start to the season before last week's meltdown against the Nationals. Megill surrendered eight earned runs in less than two innings of work. The outing ballooned his season ERA from 2.43 to 4.41. A few days later he hit the IL with a shoulder injury that was ultimately diagnosed as biceps tendinitis. 

The biceps brachii is the meaty muscle of the upper arm that bulges when people perform the stereotypical arm flex. (I instantly think of the Predator handshake meme.) However, what most people fail to realize is that the biceps is a two-joint muscle that influences the elbow and the shoulder.  The tendon of the long head of the biceps anchors to the labrum of the shoulder joint known as the glenohumeral (GH) joint. This tendon is situated in a bony indentation in the humerus known as the bicipital groove and helps stabilize the humeral head. It is particularly active when throwing. Unfortunately, this location makes the biceps vulnerable to impingement and injury. The repetitive overhead motion that comes with pitching often places excessive amounts of stress on the biceps tendon leading to inflammation.

Treatment for biceps tendinitis is straightforward. The individual stops the irritating activity and may receive an oral anti-inflammatory or in some cases an anti-inflammatory injection. Once the symptoms have subsided, the athlete can resume activity, in Megill's case throwing. Sadly, if the root of the problem goes untreated then a recurrence of symptoms can occur. As a result, New York could opt to slow play his recovery in an attempt to pinpoint a possible fault in his delivery. Look for Megill to miss the full 15 days, and don't be surprised if his absence extends beyond the minimal amount of time lost. 

Check Swings

Kris Bryant: The Rockies infielder will look to get his season back on track after completing a rehab stint with Triple-A Albuquerque. Bryant has not played since April 25 due to stiffness in his back. Fortunately, he's progressed smoothly since receiving a cortisone injection in the area and could be back by Friday if all goes well with the Isotopes. 

Carlos Correa: Correa's stint on the IL appears to be nearing a conclusion. The Twins shortstop has missed 10 straight games with a bruised right middle finger. He has returned to hitting and batting drills and he should be fine moving forward.

Nelson Cruz: Cruz was a late scratch from Monday's lineup due to an unspecified illness. The issue does not appear to be COVID-19-related, and Cruz should be considered day-to-day for now. Same goes for Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano who was a surprise scratch Monday after he reported feeling under the weather.

Bryce Harper: The reigning National League MVP has been playing through a small tear in the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. The injury will not prevent Harper from playing but will limit him to the designated hitter role. He recently underwent a PRP injection to help facilitate healing of the sprain but isn't expected to resume throwing until mid-June. Keep utilizing Harper as you normally would but anticipate routine days off for the immediate future. 

Jake Odorizzi: The Astros pitcher was carted off the field Monday night after suffering a left leg injury while attempting to cover first. The initial word is the injury involves his Achilles tendon, and he is set for an MRI to determine the extent of the damage. The injury looked bad when it happened, and it seems likely Odorizzi is sidelined for a considerable amount of time.

Joey Votto: Votto has not played in more than two weeks after contracting COVID-19. Votto was reportedly symptomatic but recently began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville that has now shifted to High-A Dayton. The Reds are hopeful the veteran can rejoin the club in time for their weekend series in Toronto. 

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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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