Professional athletes almost always think they can heal from an injury quicker than what a doctor might initially suggest. And they're usually wrong, even if they are allowed to return to game action sooner than anticipated on occasion. Unfortunately, that can sometimes lead to the player aggravating an injury or just putting up mediocre numbers because they're not fully healthy.
So we should all take players' own personal health update with a grain of salt, especially in the offseason when they have a longer period of time to recover from an injury. It's normal for a player who will be less than a year removed from Tommy John surgery on Opening Day—recovery time is typically 12-18 months, but normally closer to 18 months and sometimes longer—to proclaim that he is way ahead of schedule and will undoubtedly be ready for the start of the season.
Several months and multiple injury updates later, that pitcher is still trying to work his way back to making rehab starts after a second setback in his recovery.
We're getting closer to the point in the offseason, however, where timetables for a rehabbing player's return can be taken more seriously. Workouts are being ramped up with the opening of spring training approaching and teams will need to get a better idea of whom they can count on.
And so will fantasy baseball owners. Here's an update on eight rehabbing players who can make a fantasy impact in 2014.