Daniel Kelley is on vacation for the next few weeks, so I will be taking over the weekly Injury Report while he is away enjoying his time off.
Injuries are part of participating in fantasy sports, and getting lucky with very few injuries usually results in a pretty successful season for some fantasy owners. Dealing with an injury to a star player is never easy, but you hope to get by until the star returns to the field. We have several stars returning to the field, or making progress in their rehabs this week, including Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
Harper returned from the DL last night, after missing five weeks with a knee injury (bursitis). I don't know about you, but that seems like a long time for an injury of that kind. Harper played in four rehab games in the minors, and will wear a soft knee brace under his uniform going forward. How he performs going forward will all rest with the health of his knee, as he needs his legs for some of his power, as well as his speed. I don't see him running as much early on, and would temper your stolen base expectations for the rest of the season.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is another one of those players that are difficult to replace when injured. On Saturday, Patrick Saunders, from the Denver Post, reported that Tulo ran the bases, fielded ground balls, and lightly hit off a tee, so he is making progress in his rehab from a broken rib.
Reds starter Johnny Cueto aggravated his right lat injury last week and was placed on the DL as a result. This is Cueto's third time, I believe, on the DL this season and has made just nine starts, and 48 innings, thus far. I assume the Reds will take it much slower with his lat injury than the last time, and I don't expect him back when his 15 days are up. In the meantime, pitching prospect Tony Cingrani will take Cueto's spot in the Reds rotation. With Cingrani more than likely on an innings limit this season, the Reds may need to trade for another starter for their second half wildcard run.
It was reported on Monday morning that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been cleared to begin his rehab assignment as he prepares to return from hip surgery. The Yankees lineup is struggling right now, and the addition of ARod should be a plus, as his replacement, Kevin Youkilis, is out for the season after having back surgery, while rookie David Adams is hitting under the Mendoza line.
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria has missed the last three games due to aggravating his plantar fascitis while running out a ground ball on Friday night. He has yet to be placed on the DL, though, and manager Joe Maddon has indicated that Longoria is available to pinch hit. Here is ESPN's Stephania Bell on Longo's injury:
The problem with plantar fasciitis (pain in the fibrous tissue which reinforces the arch of the foot) is that the pain is typically provoked by load-bearing activity, including running. If Longoria does test the foot and the pain escalates, the team may have to re-evaluate the possibility of more extended rest.
Longoria dealt with the same injury last season, and missed time as a result, so the Rays will probably take it slow with him.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has been making progress from his broken ankle injury, as he has been fielding grounders, taking batting practice, and has now incorporated running the bases into his rehab. He is closing in on an rehab assignment and could return in the next few weeks. The Yankees lineup certainly needs him right now.
Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos suffered a broken bone in his right wrist after being hit by a pitch, and is expected to miss up to a month as a result. Bourjos has yet to be placed on the DL, but that should happen later today.
Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford is currently rehabbing his strained hamstring began his rehab assignment on Sunday. He played left field for Rancho Cucamonga last night and could return to the Dodgers lineup for this weekend's three game series with the Giants. When he returns, manager Don Mattingly will have a tough task keeping his four outfielders, Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig all fresh and in game shape. I imagine Ethier will sit vs tough lefties, and Crawford could be brought along slowly to ensure his hamstring injury does not flare up again. Kemp returned from the DL last week and stole two bases, so it appears his he is fully recovered from him hamstring injury. For now.
Brewers outfielder Corey Hart missed most of the season due to his recovery from right knee surgery, and now will miss the rest of the season as he needs surgery on his left knee now. It's been a tough year for the Brewers as they hold the second worst record in the National League, and are missing the services of star outfielder Ryan Braun as well.
Braun has been on the DL with a thumb injury, but had a good day on Monday, according to Michael Hunt at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and is scheduled to swing a bat today. The assumption is that he could return to the Brewers lineup fairly quickly if all goes well today.
Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera is currently on the DL with a hamstring injury, but it was a mild strain, so he should be back when his 15 day DL time is up. He is scheduled to start a rehab assignment this week and could be back as soon as Thursday if all goes well.