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Top Injured Players

Charles T. asks:

As the season starts, could you do the readers a solid and give us a snapshot of all the top fantasy players that are starting the season injured, dinged up or otherwise hurting in some way? And also, maybe some thought on when to expect they'll be back and/or how their season may turn out. I think it would help a lot.

Agreed.  It may be useful now, but it will also be interesting to look back after the season and see whether any of these injuries mattered.

1.  Hanley Ramirez - Tendinitis in right rotator cuff.  Hanley has had shoulder issues for years now, but they never affected his performance.

7.  Ryan Braun - Bruised thumb, strained oblique.  The oblique thing worries me, given how Braun played while dealing with a similar injury at the end of the '08 season.  A down year from Braun would be a big blow to his owners.

14.  Lance Berkman - Biceps tendinitis.  I'm concerned, after paying $35 for Berkman in my keeper auction league.

15.  Chase Utley - November hip surgery.  At one point we thought Utley would miss a month or more, but he's expected to be ready for Opening Day.  I think he will be fine and was probably a bargain in early drafts.

16.  Alex Rodriguez - If you got A-Rod as a third round pick, it might really pay off.  He had hip surgery this month and reports are optimistic.  He could be back before May.

17.  B.J. Upton - He's expected to return April 13th.  Upton had shoulder surgery in November.  He's being drafted as if he'll return to 20 HR power.

18.  Johan Santana - Quickly overcame early March elbow tightness.  We've seen many times with pitchers where a small injury leads to a big one.  Still, Johan's been dominant and healthy for a long time.

20.  Manny Ramirez - He signed late and missed time with a sore hamstring.  With the opt-out carrot dangling, it seems that Manny will manage 500 ABs.

23.  Ichirio Suzuki.  This was way too early to be drafting Ichiro in my opinion.  He's headed to the DL for the first time in his career with a bleeding ulcer.  He doesn't have a timetable yet.

27.  Carlos Lee.  Fractured his pinkie in August.  Seemingly had more than enough time to be back at 100%.

35.  Brian Roberts.  Back spasms and a respiratory infection.  So far, the ailments seem minor.

38. Kevin Youkilis.  Sprained ankle during WBC.  Seems minor.  Still too early to draft him.

41.  Carlos Quentin.  Wrist surgery in September.  If this leads to a slow first half, this pick will look even worse.

43.  Cole Hamels.  Scheduled to make first appearance April 10th after getting an anti-inflammatory injection for a sore elbow.  Hamels threw more pitches than anyone in baseball last year.

49.  Alexei Ramirez.  Deep cut on his knee during spring game; not a big deal.

50.  Chipper Jones.  Withdrew from WBC with a strained right oblique.  As long as he manages 400 elite ABs it'll be worth it.

Other top 100 considerations: Garrett Atkins, Joe Nathan, Mariano Rivera, Chad Billingsley, Joe Mauer

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