Rick Wilton on Mark Mulder

Rick Wilton's exclusive insights into baseball injuries have been published regularly online since 1996. He is the only current analyst with experience in sports medicine, radiology, pharmacology and physical therapy. Here is his take on injury that has landed Mark Mulder on the DL.

My concerns regarding Mulder were well founded after reports he couldn't  even lift his pitching arm up to his shoulder earlier this week. The diagnosis is (1) shoulder impingement (2) inflammation of the rotator cuff slight fraying of the rotator cuff.

The Cardinals placed him on the 15-day DL and indicated they believe he won't need surgery. The Cardinals will shut him down for a week then re-evaluate him. The treatment plan is anti-inflammatory medical and rest for at least a week. The fraying of the rotator cuff (or labrum as was mentioned in
the news conference) isn't of concern to the medical staff. The medical staff believes it is just normal wear and tear. The impingement; the pinching of a tendon of the rotator cuff is usually due to muscle weakness in the shoulder. The plan of action is to reduce the inflammation, build up the shoulder strength, and then get him back on a pitching mound.

Conclusion: It sounds like he's avoided surgery  for the time being. When he returns to throwing after the rest period and treatment, the surgery talk could surface again if the pain is still present. The best-case scenario has Mulder resuming exercise and long tossing early in July and returning in late July or early August. Even if he does return quickly (unlikely), the odds are against him that he'll productive the rest of the season. Worst-case scenario has Mulder undergoing surgery and being lost for the year.

The Baseball Injury Report PO Box 085862 Racine, WI 53408
Email: rick@baseball-injury-report.com

This Week in the Baseball Injury Report newsletter is published weekly from February through September.

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