THE BIG HURT: Hurt file, August 18-23

NOTE: This column focuses on injury analysis, so we don't cover the progress of every injured player. We try to highlight the key fantasy contributors, unusual injuries, or situations where the official projected return is variable or not given. Players whose progress is proceeding as expected are very well covered by fantasy news sources; we'll tend to leave those players alone unless we have something we want to add to the news coverage. This column is updated on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Mondays.

Last week's colum: August 11-16


August 23, 2021

Tyrone Taylor (OF, MIL) – R oblique strain (8/20/21)
This is your friendly reminder that obliques can be stubborn healers.
2021 Impact: Risk of recurrence; risk of longer IL stay that projected
Est. Return: Mid-/late September

Diego Castillo (RHP, SEA) – R shoulder inflammation (8/21/21)
The error bars are pretty wide here without knowing the source of the inflammation, but his imaging showed just fatigue (i.e., overuse). He should return somewhat quickly, though his risk definitely goes up.
2021 Impact: Elevated risk
Est. Return: Late August/early September

James McCann (C, NYM) – Lower back spasms (8/17/21)
Spasms result from pain, and the most common cause of lower back pain is a muscle strain. We'll treat it as such for now.
2021 Impact: Unknown extent; risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Early September

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP, SF) – R ankle soreness (8/18/21)
This does not appear to be a sprain—at least, nobody is calling it that—and the next most likely suspect is tendonitis. The imaging apparently did not turn up anything sinister like a bone spur, though a small spur might have been missed. We'll project it as tendonitis for now.
2021 Impact: Unknown extent
Est. Return: Early/mid-September

Nico Hoerner (SS, CHC) – R oblique strain (7/27/21)
He's right in the middle of the projected return window, but he's suffered a setback in rehab (felt a twinge). That doesn't necessarily reset the clock entirely, but it could add as much as a couple of weeks.
2021 Impact: Unknown severity
Est. Return: Late August/early September


August 21, 2021

Eric Haase (C, DET) – R abdominal strain (8/17/21)
This was originally diagnosed as lower back tightness, but imaging revealed it to be an abdominal strain. Based on the initial symptoms, we don't think the injury is to the "6-pack" abdominals, but more likely to the transverse abdominis or the lower oblique, both of which are more on the side and wrap around to the back. This is an important distinction because it changes the projected recovery time. As with any muscle strain, there's a risk of recurrence.
2021 Impact: Unknown extent/severity
Est. Return: Early/mid-September (best estimate)

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Freddy Peralta (RHP, MIL) – R shoulder inflammation (8/18/21)
Example number one of why you shouldn't give what the player says much weight. After being pulled early with pain in his shoulder, he said he expected to make his next start, but he's now on the IL. The most likely cause of the pain and inflammation is a muscle strain, but tendonitis is also a suspect. The median return is about three weeks, and that's where we'll start, though the temptation might be to rush him back as soon as possible.
2021 Impact: Unknown extent
Est. Return: Early/mid-September (best estimate)

George Springer (OF, TOR) – L knee sprain (8/15/21) UPDATE
Based on his manager's comments, we speculated that this was a more serious injury, but tests show it's a mild sprain. We've adjusted our projection accordingly.
2021 Impact: Likely minimal
Est. Return: Late August/early September

Merrill Kelly (RHP, ARI) – COVID-19 (8/15/21)
We don't usually write about COVID cases, since each recovery can take its own course. However, he's not only been diagnosed with COVID, but is apparently symptomatic, and from the description, they are not mild symptoms. That suggests he'll be out longer than the typical positive test.
2021 Impact: Highly variable recovery time
Est. Return: Early September at the earliest, most likely


August 18, 2021

Luis Severino (RHP, NYY) – R shoulder tightness (8/13/21) UPDATE
He had an MRI, and while we don't know the results, he's off to Dr. ElAttrache for a second opinion. No disrespect to the good doctor, but that's rarely a good sign. If the MRI showed something relatively minor, there'd be no need for the second opinion. While it's possible Dr. ElAttrache decides that it's not a serious injury, it's also quite possible it is. We're not intending to be dramatic here, but the balance of his season is in jeopardy.
2021 Impact: Potential for serious, season-ending injury
Est. Return: Too many variables here, but 2022 is looking better and better

Matt Wisler (RHP, TAM) – R hand, finger inflammation (8/15/21)
We typically skip over non-closer relievers because of low value, but in Tampa, everyone is a closer. This sounds like a minor injury, possibly tendonitis. There's some risk that it blooms into something more, but the most likely outcome is that he'll return in something close to the minimum.
2021 Impact: Unknown extent
Est. Return: Late August

George Springer (OF, TOR) – L knee sprain (8/15/21)
Surprise! The ankle injury we've been following turns out to be a sprained knee. While a sore ankle is a strange symptom of a knee sprain, we'll roll with it. (So it's likely that he hurt both at the same time, but the knee ended up being the more serious of the two). No word as to severity, but it seems serious based on the "we'll see" management gave to the question of a 2021 return. There's also a bit more risk here than with the ankle, as there could be some undetected damage, but it's not extraordinary.
2021 Impact: Unknown severity
Est. Return: Mid-September might be the best bet

Joe Ross (RHP, WAS) – R elbow, UCL tear (8/14/21) UPDATE
As of now, the doctors are not recommending surgery. From our perspective, that projects him to start 2022 roughly on time, but it also increases the variability of the results. There's still a good chance he decides at some point that he needs to go the surgery route, as the rehab path is not terribly reliable.
2022 Impact: Iffy
Est. Return: 2022 (best estimate)


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