A.J. Pollock was placed on the disabled list in mid-May with a grade-one groin strain. Pollock is the catalyst for the Arizona Diamondbacks offense, and is very potent with his homerun & stolen bases ability when healthy. The main problem with Pollock is the fact that he cannot stay healthy, namely from his recurrent groin injuries. Let’s briefly talk about groin injuries and why they can be so devastating to baseball players.
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 7-14 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.
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 14 months, possibly longer.
The good news is that this injury was only a grade one, for the second time this year, after suffering a grade two last year – one that took significantly more time to heal. I really think that Pollock will be good to go over the next week or so. If the owner who has him is fed up and like to flip him, send them a solid offer and see if you can get yourself a top 15 outfielder for the rest of the season at a discount.
This was written for the @TheFantasyDRS by Dr. Jesse Morse. I am a Family Medicine trained physician, and I will be beginning a Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of South Florida in Tampa soon. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me directly at @DrJesseMorse or visit my website at: www.DrJesseMorse.com Stay tuned for the next article!