Did he lose an arm? I can't see his arm, it's gone is it? That limbless bastard!
Photo Credit: Craig Y. Fujii
[Editor's Note: Furcal didn't lose his arm. Don will take it from here.]
Rafael Furcal was placed on the 15-day DL this past Saturday with a strained left oblique, just two weeks after being activated from the DL with a thumb injury. Oblique strains are all the rage this year, they put the “in” in “injury”. They can also be tricky afflictions to overcome, as owners of Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman and Brandon Beachy, among others, can attest. Oblique injuries are particularly troublesome for a baseball player because there are so many baseball related activities that involve trunk rotation and stress the area, such as swinging a bat or throwing (throwing is how Furcal did it). Typical recovery time for an oblique strain is 4-6 weeks. Furcal will be rested for roughly two weeks, allowing the acute phase of the injury to pass and settle down. Then he’ll gradually be worked back into activity and sent on a rehab assignment. As we’ve seen a number of times with various players with injured obliques, setbacks are common. Furcal is not the pillar of health or youth anymore, this is not the sort of injury you want to see if you’re relying upon him. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he suffered a setback during the recovery. I would anticipate a four week timetable until he’s cleared to begin baseball activities, with another week or two on top of that for a rehab assignment, and that’s a best case scenario given his extensive injury history and the unpredictable nature of this injury. With the young speedster Dee Gordon taking the reigns at Shortstop while Furcal is gone, the Dodgers have an opportunity to give him an extended look and infuse a little more excitement into the top of the lineup. Unless Gordon struggles they will have little reason to rush Furcal along, and if Gordon excels there could be playing time issues upon his return.
Prediction Furcal returns in six weeks, roughly around the All-Star Break. Mattingly immediately puts him back in the starting lineup as SS, benching Gordon and irritating all of Dodger nation and heavily invested fantasy owners. Not to worry, though, as Furcal only makes it two weeks before he’s sidelined again, this time it’ll be his back, which has given him trouble in the past and has now developed a dreaded compensation injury due the oblique issue. Maybe I’m going a bit far, but this is Rafael Furcal we’re dealing with here, nobody would be surprised if it happens.
Past Injury Analysis
Buster Posey, Wandy Rodriguez [Busted]
Josh Johnson [JJ Sleeps with the Fishes]
Chipper, Sizemore, Beachy, Wright and Lackey [Glass Twins]
J.Broxton, B.Lyon and D.Aardsma [Unholy Trinity]
R.Zimmerman and P.Sandoval [Hot Corner Blues]