Nyjer Morgan (Sprained PCL in right knee; Placed on 15 DL on May 15th)
Before Friday’s game against the Athletics, the Indians announced that outfielder Nyjer Morgan suffered a Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) sprain while he chased after a double by Toronto’s Adam Lind on Wednesday, May 14th. In an awkward half dive half tumble attempt to catch the ball, he fell while in motion on his right knee, causing the injury. The PCL is very strong, but a powerful force can rupture or tear it. Sprains of the PCL can also be secondary to a dislocated knee because of the amount of tension placed on the PCL during the dislocating force. Up to this point, there has been no indication of a dislocation in Morgan’s knee. It should be noted that this is a partial tear that will not require surgery. Once the swelling subsides, Morgan will be able to resume baseball activities.
Like Bourn’s hamstring issues, this is an injury that could linger for Morgan and the tribe. In fact, rehabilitation will likely be needed the rest of the season. It is important to understand that rehabilitation should not end when the team physician clears Morgan to return. The process will take a while because that is how long he will need a properly functioning knee joint. Morgan’s age does not help the recovery process.
Morgan had entered the game to replace Michael Brantley, who exited with mid-back tightness.
Michael Brantley (Mild back tightness; day to day.)
With no history of back pain, this should not be a worry. Brantley was taken out of Wednesday’s game with what was described as “mild back tightness.” More accurately, it could be described as a low back strain due to playing five straight games on traditional artificial turf.
Muscles strains most frequently result from a violent muscular contraction during an excessively forceful muscular stretch. When playing on any other surface other than grass, the tendons and muscles add force when accelerating and decelerating on such a hard surface.
Brantley was back in the lineup on Friday night and expected to have no lingering effects.
Jason Kipnis (Strained right oblique; 15 day DL on May 2nd)
Kipnis stated that he hopes to begin taking light batting practice early next week while playing in rehabilitation games late next week.
Although he said that they are not rushing his return, I would be cautious that returning to early from this injury could cause lingering effects the rest of the season. Since the core and oblique are used in everyday life, it takes more time to recover from an injury to the core area.
In my opinion, three weeks is not nearly enough time to let the oblique strain heal. I would give it another two weeks before resuming baseball related activities. However, the Indians have much more information about Kipnis’ injury than I do.