Saturday, February 20, 2010

Detwiler's Injury Relapse

Injuries happen. They happen to all teams in all sports. While there are many theories and techniques to prevent them, none are proven 100% and no team should rely on one system and expect it to work on all players.

However, once an injury occurs, there ARE proven rehab regiments to prevent recurrences and relapses. However, it seems that this is where the Nationals continue to shoot themselves in the foot. So many players (Kearns, Olsen, Zimmermann, Flores) shut down to rest a diagnosed malady, only to have it immediately flare up once they return to action.

Detwiler's setback is alarming because it follows a slew of other injuries and could have easily been taken care of months ago.

They apologists says that it is up to the player to disclose as much information as possible regarding the injury. This is true, but hardly a fact of life. These guys are out competing in a multi-million dollar industry. The psyche of the athlete, particularly the best athletes, is that they believe they can battle through a little pain and still beat their opponent. Think of it as the "Brett Favre" mentality. This is why team staff several athletic trainers and assistants. They are not in there only wrapping ankles. They monitor these players to insure that the team's investment is not being put at risk, yet it seems that the recurrence rate is creeping higher with each sprain.

Once again, nobody can force Craig Stammen to admit that his shoulder is killing him, but it isn't difficult to review the film and data following his hot run in July and notice that his mechanics were suffering. Maybe they injury wasn't "preventable", but he could have easily been put into a rehab program a month sooner and been ready for fall ball. Detwiler should have been ready to go for Spring Training, but instead will be fortunate to be pitching full strength by June. And what of the other guys? Jordan Zimmermann should hopefully be following the James Andrews playbook, but who knows... with the track record right now (see: Patterson, John), we may be lucky to see him in a Nats uniform again, no timetable, if ever.

See, bad teams are bad for a variety of reasons. Rizzo can improve the level of talent, but if other areas are still poorly managed, they will continue to tread in mediocrity.

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