Well before the NFL Draft and even before the Combine, team doctors, athletic trainers and scouts will sit down and go through medical files of the potential draftees. Most players will make their medical files available to teams. The process is so thorough that things have gone from trying to hide injuries to open, proactive disclosure. "We're going to find it," said Dr. Neal ElAttrache, one of the top sports medicine surgeons and former team doctor for the Los Angeles Rams, "so most people get it out in the open."
The casualties keep mounting. Brian Wilson: done and headed for his second Tommy John surgery. Joakim Soria: done after his second Tommy John surgery. Ryan Madson: done after his first Tommy John surgery. The list of closers on the disabled list also includes Andrew Bailey, Kyle Farnsworth and Drew Storen.
University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill is in stable condition after suffering a seizure on the sideline of a game against New Mexico State on Saturday in Minneapolis, the team doctor said.
Mike Leach took Texas Tech to new heights, going 84-43 in 10 seasons, including an 11-2 finish in 2008. Leach was fired by the university in December 2009 after being accused of mistreating receiver Adam James, the son of ESPN broadcaster Craig James. Leach has denied any wrongdoing in the case. Here is his account of the incident from the his new book, Swing Your Sword.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Just 11 months removed from his August 2009 Tommy John surgery, Reds starter Edinson Volquez was back pitching in the majors. Two months after that, manager Dusty Baker named Volquez his Game 1 starter in last October's National League Division Series against the Phillies.
JUPITER, Fla. -- The next time Washington righthander Stephen Strasburg pitches in the big leagues -- "possibly" at the end of this season, according to Nationals GM Mike Rizzo -- he will be 23 and no longer a phenom. But can Strasburg 2.0 be the same pitcher after blowing out his elbow last season and undergoing Tommy John surgery Sept. 3? And should he be the same pitcher? The growth of the Nationals franchise just might depend on those answers.
I've spoken to horribly disabled old football players who told me they'd do it all again, whatever life's sacrifice, just to have played the game. How many players have taken performance-enhancing drugs without any concern about the possible side effects? So many athletes will do almost anything to compete.
He will be at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Friday afternoon, anxiously walking the sidelines, his penetrating green eyes scanning the field for injuries. He is the only man in the state of Alabama who can say he plays for both the Auburn Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide. When someone from either team is slow to rise after the whistle blows, the silver-haired 68-year-old who nearly died of a heart attack five years ago will charge forward, and suddenly the most famous sports doctor in America will be on center stage. Look closely into the crowd and, as the man leans down to tend to the fallen athlete, fingers will point and cameras will flash, because in his home state Dr. James Andrews is about as popular -- and well known -- as the two head coaches that will be pacing opposite sidelines.
When Taylor Twellman won Major League Soccer's MVP award in 2005, he threw his head at balls in the penalty box with the force of a bird smacking into a window. That's how the U.S. and New England Revolution forward scored 101 goals in eight MLS seasons -- and how his playing career took an irretrievable turn on Aug. 30, 2008.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy made sports headlines even before Dr. Anthony Galea brought it back into the news. After suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee in the January 2009 AFC Championship Game, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward received a variation of PRP therapy from a team physician and, two weeks later, caught two passes for 43 yards in a Super Bowl victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
For the past year and a half, the name Stephen Strasburg has sent bolts of electricity through the nervous systems of baseball fans, scouts, and players, but for the next year -- if not more -- it will provide us with nothing more than frustration. After just 12 tantalizing major league starts, Strasburg's right arm gave out on him in the fifth inning of his start against the Phillies last Saturday. On Thursday, the results of his enhanced MRI came in, and they were not good. Strasburg has been diagnosed with "a significant tear" in his pitching elbow and is apparently headed for ligament-replacement, a.k.a. Tommy John, surgery, which will likely to keep him out of action through the end of the 2011 season. That's a huge blow to the Washington Nationals and to major league baseball and its fans in general, as all have lost a captivatingly unique young talent for more than a calendar year, but what exactly does it mean for the burgeoning career of the 22-year-old pitcher actually
You've managed to make it to spinning class (for the second time this week!), but as soon as the instructor starts the cooldown, you head for the door. Hold it right there. Turns out, stretching is just as important as getting on the bike in the first place.
Mackenzie Riley is only 13 years old, but her schedule is busier than many adults. Besides being on her middle-school yearbook staff and taking piano and voice lessons once a week, she is also the co-captain of her seventh-grade basketball and volleyball teams.
I need more information on the stretching that girls can do to help prevent injuries. I am a dad who has three athletic daughters; we are working on volleyball right now. How do I get a DVD or something that will help me teach my kids these stretches and jumps to help prevent ACL injuries? I am also 45 years old and have already had my left knee replaced because my ACL was destroyed and my knee degenerated. I know the pain involved in that; I don't want my daughters to have the same problem. Please help. Thank you so much.
At just past 2 p.m. on May 17, 2008, El Segundo, Calif., police officer Cory McEnroe arrived at the scene of an auto accident on the Pacific Coast Highway and found a Jeep Commander buried in the rear end of a Volkswagen Passat. When McEnroe approached the SUV and asked the driver to turn it off, the Jeep instead surged forward into the Passat again. McEnroe quickly deduced that the driver, later identified as USC assistant football coach Dave Watson, was dangerously impaired. The 31-year-old Watson "seemed very confused," McEnroe wrote in his report. "[His] speech was so slurred I had a difficult time understanding him."
Hines Ward's recent comments about teammate Ben Roethlisberger shed some light on the attitude most NFL players have regarding injuries, team doctors and concussions. My guess is that attitude would confuse and surprise most fans that don't really understand the business of the NFL and the internal and external pressure to play. Allow me to explain the prevailing thought process among most NFL players when it comes to some of the issues that Ward raised.
Pick a day -- any day -- and you'll probably find Sean Bugg on the courts. A tennis fanatic, he's been playing the sport since he was 9 years old. Now at age 41, Bugg is definitely feeling the pain from his game.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Players rarely captivate their audience in the first few innings of a game, but Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson's dominance made August 14 feel historic almost immediately. Watching the 25-year-old Johnson strike out seven of the first nine Rockies he faced, all missing wildly, Marlins fans could not resist the thought of a no-hitter.
I seem to get very sore after every workout. My fiancé says I'm working out too hard, but I was wondering if there were other reasons. I've been a vegetarian for 13 years and am usually low on protein and iron (and probably a few other things, too). Could low levels of protein and/or iron contribute to why I get so sore after working out?
The recent revelation by Raiders coach Tom Cable that wide receiver Javon Walker had surgery and did not let the Raiders know about it until last weekend's mandatory mini-camp shines a bright light on a distinct issue in the NFL: the propensity of players to consult with medical personnel outside of their organization.
Matt Bush is not Chipper Jones yet, or Alex Rodriguez, or any number of other former No. 1 picks who have taken their lofty status in Major League Baseball's draft and become mega-stars. Bush, who spends his days rehabilitating from elbow surgery in Peoria, Ariz., is about as far away from that as a ballplayer can get.
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The hope of the Twins, whatever hope there might be, is rubbing down his left elbow, checking out all the new faces around the room. There is still plenty of talent in this clubhouse, even without Johan Santana, Torii Hunter and all the other Twins who have disappeared since Francisco Liriano, the hope of 2008, first blew people away as a rookie in 2006.
Theoretically, you come to the Mailbag each week seeking my "expertise" on college football matters. This week, however, the biggest story in the country involves a subject I feel somewhat unqualified to speak about.