Darvish Flying to Texas for Second Opinion on Sore Arm (Updated)


The word on Darvish is a right elbow impingement, which probably sounds worse that what it is. According to Sahadev Sharma, the plan is for Darvish to receive a cortisone injection and then take a few days off to see how everything goes.

Corticosteroids (don’t mistake the latter part of the name for the anabolic stuff) are powerful anti-inflammatory medications that offer fast relief from pain in joints, muscles, etc. They’re not actually pained relievers, per se, but they do alleviate pain by reducing inflammation in the area. As you might imagine, that could be very useful when dealing with both chronic and acute sports injuries.

It’s important to monitor the situation closely, however, since such an injection can mask issues and lead an athlete to push through an injury that needs more rest. Also, a peer-reviewed meta-analysis (a method that takes the effects of all published studies and analyzes the total effect) found that cortisone injections actually had a negative impact on tennis elbow after around six months.

We don’t know if Darvish’s diagnosis is actually tennis elbow, but some medical scientists would argue that cortisone shots may not be an ideal strategy. You can bet the Cubs will be very cognizant of that with Darvish and won’t just be using this as a catch-all remedy. All things considered, this seems like pretty good news.

Yu Darvish had joined the Cubs in LA after a rehab start in South Bend, but he’s now away from the team once again in order to seek an opinion from the Rangers team doctor. In addition to his duties with the ballclub, Dr. Keith Meister is the director of TMI Sports Medicine in Dallas.

It was only a few days ago that we were discussing Darvish returning to the Cubs rotation after successfully throwing during a 57-pitch rehab start. But triceps pain during his recent bullpen session squashed all hope that he’d be back within the next couple of weeks.

It’s hard to know what to make of this. On one hand, it’s not surprising that Darvish would meet with the doctor who oversaw much of his rehabilitation and overall medical care while in Texas. On the other hand, we were under the impression that the Cubs medical professionals would check out Darvish as soon as their plane touched down back in Chicago.

Regardless, we don’t know much at the current moment and it’s not enough to freak out about yet. So for now, we’ll have to play the excruciating waiting game while obsessively refreshing Twitter.

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