Medical Corner – Trevor Bauer, James Paxton, Aaron Judge, and Jose Altuve
Bauer will out longer than most expect. Why I’m worried for James Paxton’s UCL despite positive reports. Aaron Judge isn’t close and Jose Altuve may be in/out of the lineup for the rest of the season.
Trevor Bauer – Right fibula ‘stress fracture.’
The Indians have a 12-game lead in the AL Central, and a stress fracture typically takes four to six weeks to heal. The math is pretty easy on this one, even though he could return sooner, it is likely that Bauer misses at least a month. Devastating for fantasy owners, but probably the best course of action for the Indians.
A stress fracture means that the bone is not displaced and should heal without any long-term issues. The fibula doesn’t bear much of the weight in the leg, so all things considered it could have been much worse. Expected Return: Mid- September
It’s my fault. I have Paxton, Bauer, and McCullers on one of my dynasty teams. I’ve been in first place for months, so you can blame me. Kluber is on that team too: plan on him going on the DL in the next week also.
Paxton’s injury actually scares me a lot more than Bauer’s. Bone healing in a very predictable manner, but soft tissue injuries like his can lead to other injuries. Many Achilles tendon tears can be a result of a calf strain. The tightened muscles offer less support, and the ligaments have to do more, resulting in injury. So, let’s hope they don’t rush him back and blowout his elbow’s UCL in the process. The Mariners state he’ll miss at least one turn, but this injury puts his elbow at high risk for additional damage. I’ll take the over on time lost, despite the tight wild card/pennant race. Expected Return: September 10th
Three weeks was never going to happen. A ‘bone chip’ or small fracture takes at least a month to heal before dry swings can take place. The injury occurred on July 26, so he should resume swinging late August and return to the lineup in early September. It’s just how fractures work; whoever spit out the 3-week timeframe that got repeated endlessly on twitter was flat out wrong. Expected Return: Mid-September
Altuve’s actual diagnosis has been kept very, very quiet, with nothing more than the vague description of ‘knee discomfort.’ His rehab gives us a few clues, all of which suggest he is dealing with a problem inside the joint of the knee. Either a torn meniscus or, gulp, the dreaded torn cartilage. Until we hear more accurate news, let’s go with the former and suggest that’s it is likely a torn meniscus.
This problem can often require surgery, but putting it off until the off-season is definitely on the table. A torn meniscus is like a hangnail (only inside the joint) and leads to irritation, swelling, and yes, discomfort. Running on a treadmill tests the knee response to partial weight scenarios. It appears Altuve passed that test and has progressed to BP and fielding grounders.
If that goes well, he could head out of a rehab assignment by the end of the week or early next week. The problem is he’s not out of the woods yet. His season will likely be filled with ups and downs, and potentially one more DL stint if they can achieve any type of lead in the pennant race. Expected Return: Late August