Baseball Injury Report

Featured Note of the Week

Jason Isringhausen (RHP, STL)
St. Louis Cardinals closer ,Jason Isringhausen, has about three weeks left in his major league career. Izzy is leading the National League in blown saves and now we know why. He has an arthritic left hip that is in much worse condition than what was known by the public.

Isringhausen has inflammation in his hip along with an overall degrading of the hip joint, to the point that lubrication injections and every conceivable non-invasive type were used to help improve his hip malady. Some work, but only in the short term. Think of it as a band-aid approach to get him through the season.

Isringhausen is scheduled to get a cortisone injection and not pitch for about a week. The hope is the inflammation will quiet down enough for him to pitch the last couple of weeks of the season, and if the Cardinals are lucky, into the postseason.

Because the hip is unstable and Isringhausen struggles with mobility, the future is bleak. If there was a treatment that would mask or allow him to pitch more effectively, the Cardinals medical staff has likely tried it or considered it. The likely scenario after the season is for Isringhausen to visit a collection of specialists then have hip surgery to help ease the pain. He’s likely to have the joint shaved, and it’s believed he can lead a normal non-baseball life.

It has been a terrific career but sadly, Isringhausen is facing near impossible odds to pitch in the majors after this season.

From Injury Watch Notes This Past Week

Jonathan Papelbon (RHP, BOS)
The Red Sox finally received yesterday the highly anticipated MRI results on Papelbon’s ailing right shoulder. The official diagnosis is a ‘transient subluxation event”, or in simple terms, his pitching shoulder slipped out of its normal position but wasn’t dislocated.

This condition can occur from overuse, causing weakness in the shoulder capsule (the muscles around the shoulder) and some looseness. The medical staff doesn’t believe he’ll have any long-term issues with this condition if he rebuilds up his shoulder strength. He’ll rest a few days then begin the process of building up the shoulder strength. If he does return this year, it’s likely for just a couple of outings to help him finish on a positive note.

Eddie Guardado (LHP, CIN)
The Reds revealed on Tuesday that Guardado was scheduled to have a saline-enhanced MRI on his left elbow to locate the source of pain in his pitching elbow. This type of MRI allows for more contrast in the elbow region, possibly revealing the problem area that a regular MRI can’t show.

He’s been on the DL since August 20 and hasn’t eliminated the discomfort in his left elbow yet. He still feels it throwing off a flat surface, so he has a ways to go. The most recent standard MRI did not reveal any damage to his elbow. The Reds moved him to the 60-day DL last Wednesday, thus ending his 2006 season.

Noah Lowry (RHP, SF)
The Giants’ medical staff does not seem concerned about the irritation in Lowry’s pitching elbow. He missed his scheduled start on Thursday, September 7, but is expected to make his next start on or about September 13. The exam of his elbow revealed some tightness in the muscle near the elbow but not any involvement of the ulnar collateral ligament.

Lowry battled a strained oblique muscle earlier in the season but hasn’t had any reported problems with the elbow. At this point the elbow problem shouldn’t be a concern.

Laynce Nix (OF, MIL)
Nix has struggled with turf toe involving his left big toe almost since he arrived in Milwaukee. The specialist that looked at his toe last Wednesday indicates Nix has bone spurs and a bunion at the base of the toe. It’s not getting any better and surgery is the likely option. It is doubtful Nix will return to the Brewers this season.

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