Michael Bourn could be headed back to the disabled list after starting the season there. His repaired left hamstring is acting up again, a big problem so closely after surgery. The Cleveland Indians speedster is being evaluated by their medical staff, according to MLB's Jordan Bastian, and no decision has been made on a return.
Bourn's 2013 season ended with him headed for surgery after a severe Grade III strain was not going to heal on its own. Stitching muscle back together is very difficult. A surgeon once told me that it was like trying to cut your steak and then stitch it back together. (He told me this at a steakhouse. Yeah.)
While Bourn was able to return without significant issue, the fact that he is having trouble is problematic. It's not known where the new injury is. It could be at the repaired area, nearby or further up or down the muscle. Any is problematic as it further weakens the muscle that Bourn needs to play his kind of game.
Hamstring injuries do have a tendency to be recurrent. Because the muscle repairs itself with scar, it is never as strong. This exacerbates the normal strength deficit the hamstring has to the quad, it's antagonist. Any imbalance leads to further movement disruption and usually only gets worse from there.
Terry Francona had a very interesting quote in the article above about the situation. "We just want to make him understand that he's got to be honest, and then we'll sit down with him and make decisions. That's kind of how we always do things."
Francona's quote is intriguing in that he felt the need to articulate it. Lonnie Soloff and his medical staff are among the most respected in the game and have been there for years. Having to say that Bourn should be honest has to be a reflection that they've had issues with him somewhere along the line.
The Indians should make a decision shortly on Bourn, retaining the retro move back to the weekend. They called up Nyjer Morgan, who had filled in for Bourn at the start of the season. Morgan is a streaky player, so he's not a bad desperation play in fantasy.
Bourn's long-term value is tied up in his speed. With only two steals in five attempts and reduced range in the outfield, Bourn hasn't demonstrated that at all. Further hamstring issues call into question whether it's coming back at all.
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