Featured Note of the Week
Francisco Liriano (LHP, MIN)
The latest MRI on Liriano’s pitching elbow was almost identical to the one done in early August when his elbow started bothering him. He has a mild tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. The Twins medical staff indicate it’s an old injury and isn’t the result of his latest problems. Look for the Twins to send him out for a second opinion.
We do know he’s done for this season, but 2007 is still a question mark. It sounds like some in the Twins camp believe he can avoid surgery and rehab over the winter. Even if he avoids Tommy John surgery now, the fact he has a tear that isn’t going to heal puts him at great risk to suffer another elbow injury in the future.
From Injury Watch Notes This Past Week
Chipper Jones (3B, ATL)
The Braves made a surprising move and placed Jones on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to September 4. The surprising part is that it helps the Braves collect insurance money on his lost playing time this month. Right now, his strained right oblique ailment prevents him from batting right-handed. When he’s swinging from the left side of the plate he doesn’t feel the strain as much. Manager Bobby Cox expects him back before the end of the season, but he just doesn’t know when.
Mike Lieberthal (C, PHI)
The latest MRI done on his ailing back revealed a small herniated disc in the lumbar region. He was given two epidural injections near the damaged disc last Friday. He felt almost instant relief and now is able to walk without pain, though he still feels some tightness. Lieberthal is talking about returning soon to help the Phillies in their playoff hunt.
It’s hard to imagine him getting back behind the plate so quickly after all the back problems he’s had recently. If he does return before the end of the season, he won’t be 100%.
Barry Bonds (OF, SF)
Bonds admitted on Wednesday that he’s very likely to have surgery once the season is over to remove several bone chips in his left elbow. The malady has bothered him off and on all season after he developed the problem this spring. It’s a minor procedure and it won’t influence his decision on whether he returns or not in 2007.
Michael Barrett (C, CHC)
Barrett is hoping to get the word to resume workouts after missing the month of September while recovering from an intrascrotal hematoma and the follow-up surgery. However, just this past Monday, he was still having some pain and was told to stop workouts for a couple of days. By the sound of Barrett’s comments on Thursday, he’d like to get a couple of games under his belt before the season ends for his piece of mind over the winter.
Scott Kazmir (LHP, TB)
With a little more than two weeks left in the season, Kazmir has not even resumed throwing, let alone simulated games. While this column has speculated that he’s done for the year, the Devil Rays are leaving the door open, which isn’t realistic at this point in the season.