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Diamond Cuts: Conflicting Reports

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.

Bryce Harper

Fans continue to anxiously await the return of Harper, who has not played since May 26. Harper has been sidelined with bursitis in his left knee but even Harper and his manager Davey Johnson could not pinpoint when he would begin his expected rehab assignment. The player and manager gave reporters conflicting answers but it seem the two have come to an agreement and Harper should be with Class A Potomac on Wednesday.

An impressive performance during batting practice proved Harper's upper-body strength has not diminished during his time off. However how the knee responds to extended activity will be another issue. Any excessive swelling or soreness could cause the Nationals to readjust their timeline and extend his time in the minors. As Harper begins his rehab assignment keep a close eye on many innings he is able to play and if he participates in back-to-back outings. Harper's conditioning will also be lacking but will improve if the knee holds up.

It should also be mentioned that Harper's risk of re-injury would remain high when he finally returns. He will likely play with a sleeve or light brace on the knee but an awkward slide or dive could easily aggravate the inflamed bursa in the joint. Harper has openly said he will not change his style of play but a minor adjustment early on could insure his availability for the remainder of the season.

Carlos Gomez

With Ryan Braun already sidelined with a thumb injury, the Brewers outfield took another hit literally and figuratively as Gomez was helped off the field after colliding with the outfield wall. Gomez suffered what the team is calling a sprained left shoulder but after the outfielder described feeling it pop in and out immediately, there is reason to be leave he suffered a shoulder subluxation.

When a joint shifts out of place it can be classified as a subluxation or a dislocation. A subluxation occurs when a joint is partially displaced. The displacement is often reduced, or realigned, naturally and almost instantaneous by the supportive structures surrounding the particular joint. A dislocation occurs when the displacement of the joint is complete. The dislocated joint often must be reduced by medical personnel and is considered a much more serious injury.

When a subluxation or dislocation occurs the surrounding ligaments are often overstretched or disrupted so Milwaukee's diagnosis of a sprain isn't off base. However Gomez will want to insure the stability of the joint is properly treated before he returns. The team is currently calling him day-to-day.

Gomez also mentioned his left collarbone, the same one he fractured in 2011, felt fine. X-rays were also negative. Given the awkward nature of the play, it appears the Brewers avoided a serious injury to one of their most important offensive weapons.

The New York Yankees

The Yankees veterans are struggling to stay healthy and it starts with the Captain. Derek Jeter has yet to play this season as he recovers from a fractured ankle sustained in last year's postseason. He was back with the team over the weekend taking batting practice and fielding grounders but still remains several weeks away. He has yet to sprint or run the bases, a big hurdle in his recovery. He should start testing the ankle on the basepaths soon but remains out until the All-Star break.

Kevin Youkilis won't be available when Jeter returns after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. The lingering back issue flared up after New York's 18-inning marathon against the A's. The results were numbness into his extremities, leading to the discovery of the inflamed disc. The initial timeline has been set at 10-to-12 weeks but don't be surprised if it lingers into late September.

Mark Teixeira joins Youk on the DL after his troublesome right wrist became inflamed. He is expected to return after the minimum 15 days but as I've said all year expect this issue to persist throughout the remainder of the season. Extra time in the batting cage led to this latest flare up meaning he will have to limit his workload moving forward.

In better news, Curtis Granderson is making progress in his comeback attempt and recently had the surgical hardware removed from his broken left pinkie. He is now attempting to manage the resulting scar tissue and hopes to firmly grip a bat soon. If Granderson is able to complete that seemingly minor task, he could begin a rehab assignment sometime this week.

Check Swings

Matt Kemp: Kemp's rehab assignment isn't going smoothly as he attempts to return from a hamstring strain. He went 0-for-5 in his first rehab game with Triple-A Albuquerque, including four strikeouts. If overcoming a balky hamstring wasn't enough, Kemp is reportedly trying out a new set of contact lenses. Additionally he's been cleared to ramp up his upper body weight-training regime as his surgically repaired shoulder continues to improve. All these factors converging at once could add up to a lengthier than normal rehab stint.

David Price: Price completed his first start at High-A Charlotte, pitching 2.1 innings. He allowed two runs, two hits while walking two and striking out four. The Cy Young winner had not pitched since mid-May when he was first diagnosed with a triceps strain on his throwing arm. He reportedly felt good following the 49-pitch outing and could be nearing a return.

Jose Reyes: Reyes is slated to return Thursday for the suddenly surging Blue Jays. He's looked strong on his rehab assignment, hitting 10-for-25 over six games. More importantly he scored six runs and stole two bases, suggesting the ankle is feeling ok.

Pablo Sandoval: After missing time with a foot strain, Sandoval will be activated Monday against the Dodgers. Sandoval's swing looked good on assignment, homering in back-to-back games. Get him back in your lineups.

Justin Upton: A sore right hand sidelined Upton over the weekend and the Braves are hoping the extended rest will help him avoid a trip to the DL. Upton has hit a cold spell after a blazing start to the season and a hand injury could help explain the split.