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Diamond Cuts: Captain of Bad Puns

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.

Ryan Braun

Braun was an early exit from Monday's game after colliding with Padres first baseman Jake Goebbert. The two appeared to come into knee-to-knee contact but Braun was diagnosed with a left quadriceps contusion. While some may scoff at the injury and write it off as nothing more than a bruise, damage to the quadriceps muscle group can be painful and limiting. Furthermore contusions to this well-vascularized area can develop into a more serious condition known as myositis ossificans. If improperly treated or not allotted the appropriate amount of time to heal, tiny calcified formations may develop in the damaged tissue of the muscle. These formations only further limit the quad and increase the associated pain.

Myositis ossifcans isn't a current concern for Braun but the seriousness of an injury deemed a contusion shouldn't be overlooked. The former MVP is confident he will be able to play Tuesday but a game or two off wouldn't be surprising.

Yu Darvish

Texas general manager Jon Daniels hinted that Darvish could sit for the remainder of the season. Darvish last pitched in a four-inning appearance on August 9. Just days after the game, he was sent to the DL with inflammation in his throwing elbow. With the Rangers sporting one of the worst records in baseball, the team has little incentive to rush him back. Daniels said it wasn't a matter of overcoming the injury but the calendar simply won't allow Darvish to properly prepare for a return to the mound. The decision is sound in the long-term as Darvish will not be exposed to a potential career-altering injury. With a quiet offseason, the Japanese ace should be back atop fantasy draft boards next season.

Sean Doolittle

Oakland is in the midst of a heated division battle with the in-state rival Angels. Fending off Los Angeles just got a bit tougher as the team's closer was recently sent to the DL with a strained intercostal on his right side.

The intercostal muscles vary from the better known and more commonly strained oblique muscle groups. The intercostals are located between each individual rib of the rib cage and are primarily used with breathing. If you are a barbeque fan, the meat you eat in a helping of short ribs is the intercostals. The associated rest and rehab is similar to that of an oblique strain. The A's medical staff will initially limit his trunk rotation before slowly progressing him back to pitching. Fortunately for Oakland and Doolittle owners, intercostal strains usually heal quicker than oblique injuries. However he will still miss at least a few weeks.

In the meantime, the A's may shift to a closer by committee approach with Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook, Eric O'Flaherty, and recently recalled Dan Otero all viable options to notch a save.

David Wright

The face of the Mets franchise has endured a disappointing season and a disastrous second half. Since the All-Star break Wright is batting just .211 with zero home runs and two measly extra base hits. Injuries may be partially responsible as Wright recently admitted to left shoulder soreness and left Sunday's win with neck spasms.

Unfortunately the aforementioned injuries aren't actually injuries. The Mets have not provided a specific diagnosis for either ailment. We know Wright's shoulder is painful and inflamed enough that a cortisone injection was utilized. It appears to have occurred when Wright was hit by a pitch in mid-August but again the area of concern has not been addressed. As for his neck, spasms are simply a symptom of an underlying issue. They are likely linked to the muscles in the area but, like we saw earlier in the season with Prince Fielder, they could be an indicator of something more significant.

Additionally there may be a relation between the two despite both injuries occurring on opposite sides of the body. A muscle mal-alignment is possible and the Mets will likely perform some sort of biomechanical analysis to see if the two are indeed linked.

Wright owners gearing up for the playoffs would be wise to consider other options. He simply is not performing and any injury only further hinders his limited productivity. Look for the Mets to consider shutting him down to allow him ample amounts of rest.

Check Swings

Shin-Soo Choo: Choo will undergo season-ending surgery on his elbow after he overcomes a recent bout with the flu. The Texas outfielder will undergo an elbow debridement to remove problematic bone spurs from the joint. Removing the calcium deposits should help eliminate the root of his problems and prevent the reoccurring symptoms from developing down the road. He should be fine by the spring.

George Springer

Springer's recovery from a quadriceps strain has taken longer than expected but is progress is occurring. He's participated in batting practice and is performing light running drills. A return isn't imminent but he could be worth stashing for the postseason.

Yadier Molina

The All-Star catcher will attempt a full workout Tuesday. If all goes well he could begin a rehab assignment as soon as Wednesday. Molina has not played since early July when he suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb that ultimately required surgery. Molina's role behind the plate does leave the area susceptible to re-injury from a stray foul or wild pitch but he could prove worth the risk, particularly at a shallow position.

Masahiro Tanaka

Tanaka's attempt to avoid Tommy John continues. The Yankees phenom recently threw 35 pitches in a simulated game and did not experience any setbacks in the following days. If he continues to progress he has an outside chance at a late September return. However New York will not rush things and there's no guarantee how effective he will be if and when he returns to the mound.

Garrett Richards

Richards' season is over after he suffered a ruptured patella tendon while attempting to cover first base. The left knee injury required surgery to fix and Richards will spend the next six to nine months recovering. I tend to lean toward the later end of the spectrum for an injury of this magnitude, meaning Richards may not be available for Opening Day of the 2015 season.