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Elbow Ligament Reconstruction Appears Not to Affect Future Pro Advancement in Baseball PDF Print E-mail
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Injuries
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 01 March 2009 01:08

UCLR repair

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New research presented at the 2009 American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine Specialty Day in Las Vegas suggests that elbow ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction prior to selection in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft does not increase the risk of future injury or affect the rate of professional advancement.

"Our study showed no statistical difference between athletes who had undergone UCL reconstruction prior to the draft and a matched control group in terms of advancement in professional baseball," said Gregory F. Carolan, MD, lead author and Director of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine at St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, PA. Dr. Carolan is a former fellow at the San Diego Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine Program and The Scripps Clinic, San Diego, CA where the research was conducted in conjunction with the San Diego Padres Baseball Club.

The researchers reviewed the medical records of all players selected during the five MLB drafts held from 1999 through 2003 and identified 30 players (all but 3 were pitchers) who had undergone UCL reconstruction (RUCL) prior to entering the draft. The data analyzed included the highest level of professional advancement, the number of times players were placed on the disabled list (DL), the type of injury responsible for placement on the DL and game statistics for those players that advanced to the Major Leagues. There was no statistically significant difference in any of these areas between the RUCL group and the control group.

"Our data shows that UCL reconstruction prior to selection in the MLB draft does not appear to increase the chances of a future injury to the throwing arm or impact a player's professional prospects when compared to a matched control group. Our analysis is sufficiently powered to detect large differences between the two groups; however our ongoing research will continue to add confidence that we are not missing more subtle differences. As more athletes undergo the procedure and enter the MLB draft, we hope to be able to accomplish this goal. With the increase in UCL reconstructions being performed, it is heartening to see that the procedure can be successful in allowing future professional athletes to the reach the highest level of competition on par with their peers," said Carolan.

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is a world leader in sports medicine education, research, communication and fellowship, and includes national and international orthopaedic sports medicine leaders. The Society works closely with many other sports medicine specialists, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, family physicians, and others to improve the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries.

For more information: www.sportsmed.org

Source: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Injury Update: Santana, Bonderman Out Longer Than Originally Reported PDF Print E-mail
Injuries
Written by Kyle Deering   
Saturday, 28 February 2009 16:27

Injury ReportUPDATE (3/2 10:35PM ET): BONDERMAN'S SH0ULDER PROVES TO BE WHAT TIGERS EXPECTED

Jeremy Bonderman returned to Detroit on Monday to have his sore right shoulder looked at by one of the team's doctor. The diagnosis was no damage to the shoulder. He is just suffering irom inflammation in the shoulder. MLB.com reports that he will continue taking medicine to reduce the inflammation and then they will go from there. There is no timetable for when Bonderman will return, but he will begin throwing again when the soreness goes away and Tigers manager Jim Leyland expects it to be "very soon."

Santana Could Be Out Another Two Weeks

Johan Santana may not be ready by opening day.  The soreness of his left elbow must be a little more serious than the Mets and Santana first thought.  He has already been scratched from his first two scheduled appearances of the spring.  A report from the Associated Press says that Santana will throw a bullpen session on Sunday, and if everything goes well he will throw 2 or 3 more batting practice sessions with a couple days rest in between each before his first spring start. Even if all goes well, this could push his Spring Training debut back until the second week of March. This will put his opening day start in danger. 

The best case scenario for Santana and the Mets right now is he would be ready to make his first regular season start by the end of the first series or the beginning of the second. However, if everything does not go well during his bullpen session on Sunday and there is still some soreness and discomfort in his left elbow, then the Mets may decide to send him back to New York to have some tests run. This is probably the most important elbow in the National League, and we will keep updating Santana’s status.

Bonderman Out Again

The Detroit Tigers decided on Thursday that they were going to cancel Jeremy Bonderman’s start for Saturday and decided to have him throw a simulated game on Saturday instead, due to stiffness in his right shoulder. Now, the Tigers have announced on Saturday that Bonderman will not throw his scheduled simulated game and that they are going to shut him down for at least the next couple days.

MLB.com reported that Bonderman expected his shoulder to feel sore after having off-season surgery to remove a blood clot, but he did not expect it to stay around this long. He could not hide his frustration on the lingering soreness and told MLB.com “I just felt it was better to take the time now than take it later.” The Tigers have been impressed enough with Bonderman’s progress that they have penciled him into one of the top four spots in the rotation, and this has been the first set back that he has experienced during his rehab.

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Santana to Miss Second Straight Start PDF Print E-mail
Injuries
Written by Kyle Deering   
Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:01

Injury ReportJohan Santana has had a scheduled start scratched for the second straight day. On Thursday, the New York Mets decided to have Santana sit out his scheduled start on Friday against Italy. Twenty-four hours later on Friday evening, MLB.com reports that his Tuesday Spring Training debut against the St. Louis Cardinals will also be delayed due to his sore left elbow. The reason behind this decision according to Manager Jerry Manuel is the organization being "extra, extra, extra" cautious.

There is no time table set for Santana to make his spring debut; however, Manuel does not think his Ace will miss an entire turn of the rotation at the current moment but that could be subject to change. With Spring Training being almost a week longer because of the WBC, it seems obvious that Manuel will not rush him and is not in any hurry to get Santana out there if he has any discomfort at all.

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Injury Round-Up: Sizemore, Webb, Santana, and Bonderman Experience Stiffness/Soreness PDF Print E-mail
Injuries
Written by Kyle Deering   
Friday, 27 February 2009 17:58
Injury Report

Groin Keeps Sizemore from Playing in WBC. Victorino to Replace

According to MLB.com, a sore left groin will keep Grady Sizemore from playing for Team USA in this year’s World Baseball Classic. Sizemore informed the Cleveland Indians on Friday morning of his intentions to drop out of the WBC. He is being cautious with this to keep it from nagging him throughout any of the regular season.

The Indians center fielder is coming off an All-Star campaign in which he set career highs with 33 homeruns, 90 RBIs, and 38 stolen bases while hitting .268. Traditionally, hitters have their breakout year at the age of 27 and Sizemore turns 27 during this season. If this holds true in his case, he could become the first member of the 45/45 club if he can stay healthy.

In his place, Shane Victorino of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies has been announced as his replacement.

Victorino previously represented the United States on USA Baseball’s 2005 Regional Pre-Olympic Qualifying Team roster. The 28-year-old switch-hitter, a native of Wailuku, Hawaii, will wear uniform number 50 in honor of Hawaii being the 50th state of the United States.

Team USA will hold its first workout on Monday, March 2nd at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.

3 Starting Pitchers Scratched from their Weekend Starts

Johan Santana and Brandon Webb were both scratched from their scheduled Friday starts.

According to the Associated Press, Santana experienced a sore elbow on Thursday. He was scratched from a “B” game start against Italy. His manager Jerry Manuel said this was a precautionary decision due to Santana’s history of a sore elbow early in Spring Training. He is still expected to make is Spring Training debut Tuesday.

Webb experienced some tightness in his right forearm. He threw off flat ground on Friday and he said it felt better than it did on Thursday. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Webb both expect him to make his next scheduled start which is on March 4th. Bob Melvin was quoted by the Associated Press as saying “I don’t see it as an issue at all.”

Jeremy Bonderman was scratched from his start on Saturday due to what Jim Leyland calls “normal stiffness”, according to MLB.com. This is a precautionary measure taken by the Detroit Tigers with Bonderman coming off surgery from last year to remove a blood clot in which his rehab has mainly consisted of rebuilding strength.

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Rockies LHP Jeff Francis Has Surgery on Pitching Shoulder PDF Print E-mail
Injuries
Written by Kyle Deering   
Thursday, 26 February 2009 22:25

Colorado Rockies left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis had arthroscopic surgery on his pitching shoulder Wednesday at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic outside of Denver. Team medical director Dr. Thomas Noonan performed the arthroscopic procedure for a labral repair and a debridement of the left rotator cuff.

According to the Rockies, Francis will begin rehabilitation immediately. A return to baseball activities has not been set.

Francis, 28, went 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA (143.2 ip, 80 er) in 24 starts for the Rockies in 2008. The left-hander is coming off a season in which he spent more than month on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation. The 2008 season was Francis' first Major League campaign in which he did not make 30 starts or win at least 13 games.

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