Wednesday, March 09, 2005

McPherson Has 'Protruding Disc' in Back

The Angels presumed starting third baseman, Dallas McPherson, has left camp to see a back specialist for a protruding disc discovered in an MRI exam yesterday but the Angels are spinning the injury as "not out of the ordinary". At least that was the quote from Manager Mike Scioscia in the LA Times.

McPherson had a ruptured disc injury in 2003 that caused him to miss two months of action. The Angels website reports that McPherson rates the current injury as far less severe as the '03 one, noting that the ruptured disc from two years ago caused so much pain that it "sometimes made it difficult to get out of bed without assistance." With the current injury, McPherson has "experienced tightness and soreness in his lower back, but he's been able to do most activities outside of swinging a bat or throwing." But as the Chronicler humorously notes, "Oh, good. Very reassuring. We sure don't need him to swing a bat or throw this year."

While the Halos put maximum spin control on this injury and Angel fans wring their hands, the truth is no one knows what the severity of the injury is. But the fact that McPherson can be quoted on the Angel website saying something like this when comparing his two back injuries is troubling:
"There are definite similarities, but this is not as severe," McPherson said, adding that his back has improved since last Friday and does not have any sciatica pain down his leg, a possible indicator of a greater problem.
Sciatica what? Why does a 24 year-old kid even have that word in his vocabulary? Hopefully McPherson bounces back in his self-projected recovery time of 1 or 2 weeks. But my experience is that anytime a ballplayer has a discussion that includes the words "bulged" or "protruding" and it does not relate to some attractive women in the stands, it is not good. This is the type of injury that can appear and reappear any time during the season and generally is only finally healed with long periods of inactivity (explaining why my back is in fine shape).

This also begs the question, did we bet on the wrong third baseman? Troy Glaus is being eased into his role as the starting third baseman for the Diamondbacks while he continues to recover from a torn labrum that caused him to miss much of the 2004 campaign. According to Manager Doug Melvin, Glaus is scheduled to "play the field every other day for the next week". When Glaus does play however, he is batting .500 so far this spring for Arizona (3 for 6 with 2 RBI, 1 R and a 2B). The Angels have a split-squad game today in Tucson against Arizona and since Glaus had a day off yesterday, look for him to start at third for the D-Backs. On March 22nd the Angels will host Arizona in Tempe and I already have my two tickets behind home. I shall endeavor to remember my digital camera and report back here on the Angels as well as Glaus.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have had a bulging disk now for five years...the problem, i have been told is going to be there for the rest of my days. (Since i am not a professional athlete, my insurance keeps sending me to PT)

I have been told to always work on my core muscles as a way of protecting the disk and spine from further damage. I was also told that the area is degenerative andwill continue if i don't contually work on the area.

sounds like dallas has a lifetime of this and the worst part is he'll never know when it's gonna get tweaked...

just my two cents...

9:10 PM  
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