Pollock has been a fantasy stud when healthy, but the problem is keeping him healthy. So far this year in 37 games Pollock has managed 11 SBs, 2 HRs, .299 average, .455 SLG, and 26 runs scored. Pollock has been dealing with groin injuries for at least the past 10 months, possibly longer. He was just placed on the DL with a new groin strain, determined to be a grade one based on reports. Groin strains can be confusing, so let’s dig deeper into what exactly a groin strain is.
What is a groin strain? A strain is a stretch or tear in either a muscle or tendon. The two muscles that would commonly get injured during a groin strain are the adductor magnus, which is the large muscle running down the inner side of the thigh, and the sartorius, which is a thinner muscle that begins on the outside of the hip and then crosses your thigh and attaches on the medial (inner) aspect of the knee. The most common causes of groin strains are running, jumping, or cutting (as in basketball, soccer or football).
Typically groin strains present as pain, sometimes tenderness, in the upper inner thigh or groin area. Bringing one’s legs together requires the use of both of the aforementioned groin muscles and can be painful for someone with a strained groin.
Another common complaint is pain when trying to lift the knee.
Groin strains are typically diagnosed by a physical exam, but sometimes imaging, like either CT or MRI is necessary to confirm the severity of the strain. Treatment often involves application of ice (20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours), taking an anti-inflammatory (for up to 7 days), wearing supportive wrap or tape, and appropriate rehabilitation exercises. If the strain is severe enough, then sometimes surgery is required. Athletes should not return to their sport until they have full strength and ROM (range of motion) of the injured leg, can jog/run without pain in the affected leg, and are able to make appropriate cuts without pain. Groin strains have a tendency to nag an athlete if they are not allowed to properly heal.
In Pollock’s case, he suffered a grade one right groin strain, and since he suffered a much worse strain last year on the left side that ended his season, he is expected to be good to return in the next 2-4 weeks. Due to said history, I would not be surprised if the Diamondbacks took his recovery and rehabilitation slowly, ensuring that when he returns he does not reinjure it quickly, thereby requiring a lengthy (and possibly end of season) DL stay. Expect Gregor Blanco and Reymond Fuentes to split time in CF when Pollock is on the DL, but neither should interest you.