Just got done speaking to team medical director Dr. Edward Khalfayan, who went more in-depth about the extent of the injuries suffered by Endy Chavez. The left fielder tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), as well as his medial collateral ligament (MCL). He also tore some of his lateral meniscus, which acts as a protective coating to the knee itself. There were no fractures of any bones, but he does have a deep bone bruise.
“The extent of his injury, it’s a bad injury,” he said.
Khalfayan’s preliminary guess is that Chavez will be out nine-to-12 months, which means he might not be ready to start 2010 on time. In fact, when I asked Khalfayan whether there was any way Chavez would be ready for the start of spring training in February, he replied that Chavez “would be limited in what he could do.”
In other words, he likely won’t start the 2010 regular season on time. This is a serious injury, the kind more common in football than in baseball.
Listen to Khalfayan by clicking right here.
“It’s not just a simple, straightforward ACL tear that doesn’t have any other damage,” he said. “He has a very severe injury to the MCL. And those can be Grade 1, 2, and 3 sprains and his is a Grade 3 sprain which is a complete tear.”
Surgery won’t happen for another two to three weeks until the swelling subsides and he gets some range-of-motion back. After that, it will be four months before he can try running again.
Khalfayan said he told Chavez last night that he thinks he’ll be able to come back.
“I think the chances are good,” he said. “They’re not 100 percent. But I think the chances are good of him coming back. He’s a guy who relies on his speed. He might lose a little bit of it.”
Khalfayan attended to Chavez on the field last night and says he knew right away he’d torn ligaments because the knee was so unstable. Khalfayan has also reviewed video footage of the incident and figures he knows how the injuries happened.
“I saw his knee contact Yuniesky’s and he hyperextended his knee at that point,” he said. “The hyperextension injury is probably what tore his anterior cruciate ligament. He went up in the air and as he came down, I saw the inner part of his leg contract the ground and that’s when I think he tore his MCL.”
Arizona Diamondbacks (29-39)
Seattle Mariners (33-34)
51 Ichiro Suzuki, RF
30 Russell Branyan, 1B
29 Adrian Beltre, 3B
5 Mike Sweeney, DH
21 Franklin Gutierrez, CF
25 Wladimir Balentien, LF
6 Chris Woodward, 2B
32 Rob Johnson, C
7 Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
38 Jason Vargas, lhp
June 20, 2009 at 5:42 PM