The Doctor’s Room will, for the duration of the season, examine the game’s most notable injuries and the expected recovery times for the stars in question.
Kenta Maeda, SP, Minnesota Twins
Kenta Maeda’s nightmarish season ends the same way it started: with bitter disappointment. The veteran hurler underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, ending his 2021 season and potentially his 2022 as well.
Reports indicate that Maeda had an internal brace placed in his right elbow, potentially shortening his recovery time down to 9-to-12 months when the usual timeframe is 12-to-16 months. At 33 years old, it remains to be seen if he can regain his 2020 effectiveness (2.70 ERA).
He ends the year with a mediocre 4.66 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 106.1 innings, with 113 strikeouts.
Gio Urshela, 3B, New York Yankees
Gio Urshela, who just came off the injured list with a hamstring issue and having already been on the shelf earlier in the year with COVID-19, fell on his right wrist and is now hurt for what it seems like the 20th time this year.
The Yankees’ third baseman will undergo an MRI on Thursday to see the extent of the injury. If it comes back clean, manager Aaron Boone said he could potentially return to the starting lineup on Friday.
Aaron Civale, SP, Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians lost right-hander Aaron Civale in late June due to a sprained right middle finger. After more than two months on the shelf, he appears just about ready to return, although the Tribe hasn’t specified the specific date.
He aced his most recent test, a start in Double-A Akron on Wednesday. In the outing, he allowed two runs (only one earned) in five innings, with six strikeouts, one walk and 71 pitches thrown.
If he is, by any chance, on your waiver wire, go get him. He could really help down the stretch.
Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox
Xander Bogaerts, who is having a very good season at the plate (.298 average, 77 runs, 20 homers, 70 RBI and a .867 OPS), will have to miss several games, at least, with a positive COVID-19 test. Depending on his vaccination status, it could be a while before we see him back.
Upon testing positive for the virus, he was immediately removed from Tuesday’s game against the Rays. Pay attention to any updates in the next couple of days to see when he can return to action.
Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox
Tim Anderson, one of the most important players in the Chicago White Sox’s roster and a dynamic fantasy contributor, has been out of the lineup since August 28 with a lingering hamstring issue that, on Wednesday, was diagnosed as a strain.
It has been severe enough to send him to the injured list, retroactive to August 29. He is eligible to return next week, on September 8, and there is a good chance he is ready to rock by then if he doesn’t have any setbacks.
The 28-year-old has been a multi-category contributor in 2021, as usual, and has a .302 batting average with 82 runs, 14 homers, 53 RBI, 17 stolen bases, and a .789 OPS.
Zack Britton, RP, New York Yankees
For years, Zack Britton has been a valuable set up and a holds league asset in fantasy, but his 2021 has been one to forget. His season got off to a late start after having surgery in his pitching elbow, to remove bone spurs. After that, he suffered a hamstring strain.
His latest injury, again on his left elbow, can end his season. The Yankees announced that the southpaw will undergo surgery, although they did not specify which kind. Britton will at least need a bone chip removed and there’s a chance his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) needs a repair. Stay tuned because the range of outcomes is broad, but he is almost certainly out for the remainder of the year.
Last Week’s Doctor Room:
Triston McKenzie (right shoulder fatigue): Cleveland activated him from the injured list, somewhat unexpectedly
Willy Adames (left quad discomfort): Already back in action
Tejay Antone (Tommy John surgery): Out for 2021 and potentially all 2022
Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain): In rest/rehab mode, could return before the end of the season
Gleyber Torres (sprained left thumb): Will return on Friday