Wang’s Injury More Serious?

Yankees beat writer extraordinaire Pete Abraham has a very good post explaining that Chien-Ming Wang’s foot injury might be more serious, and potentially season-ending, than many have heretofore considered.

I’ll quote him [in bold], also quoting Will Carroll quoting Dr. Kwong [in italics] of Kerlan-Jobe, at length below:

F.O.B. (Friend Of the Blog) Will Carroll spoke to a foot injury expert about Chien-Ming Wang. With Will’s kind permission, here is what Dr. Philip Kwong of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic said:

“It is unusual to have both a Lisfranc ligament sprain and partial tear peroneal longus together, and longer time will be needed for recovery (8-12 weeks if no significant instability occurs at the Lisfranc joints). The combined injuries represent greater rotational stress than would be experienced for each injury alone. Prognosis and time line for recovery will depend on the exact amount of ligament/tendon tear sustained and on the amount of tissue remaining to provide stability. Healing is the formation of scar tissue and not regrowth of the normal ligament or tendon tissue; consequently, future problems such as arthritis can occur at Lisfranc’s joints or reinjury of the peroneal longus tendon.”

In other words, it could take much longer than six weeks for Wang to heal. The best-case scenario is six weeks to heal, four weeks to rebuild arm strength and back in September. But there’s probably a better than 50 percent chance that the next time Wang throws a pitch it will be in Tampa in February.

Keep in mind that a starting pitcher puts more stress on his body than a reliever. Throwing 100 pitches means pushing off that right foot about 160 times counting your warm-ups before and during the game. Brian Bruney, as a result, can come back quicker than Wang.

As usual, very interesting and thorough stuff from beat scribe Abraham. The more I hear, the less I want to. But there is a good possibility that Wang won’t pitch again this year. This means that the Yanks’ desire to find in-house solutions will be increasingly tested by fans and media alike, especially since Wang comes out of the protective boot right before the trade deadline. Bad injury, but also bad timing.

For a ray of sunshine, and a potential alternative down the road to seeing Igawa, is the outstanding pitching of Trenton’s Alfredo Aceves, who has been dominant and may get the call to SWB soon. As minor-league guru Mike Sommer at The Sommer Frieze shows, Aceves has been killing ’em at Trenton, going 2-2 with a 1.64 ERA. Last night, he went eight scoreless, one-hit innings, yielding two walks and fanning four. Mike’s point about Aceves’s work vis-a-vis the timing of Wang’s injury is a good one. Considering how little the Yanks will need a fifth starter, how Giese may not be a long-term solution but also fits well in the pen as a long man, and Aceves’s dominance at Tampa and Trenton this year, why not work him up to SWB and give him a shot? More and more, the young arms (Robertson, Aceves, Melancon, McCutchen et al.) are showing that they deserve a crack. If not now, as injuries surface, when?

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Published in: on June 18, 2008 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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