Posted by Steve
I am officially extremely worried about the long-term health of Ryan Braun. It’s appearing more likely that his injury isn’t an intercostal strain at all, but more likely related to his back, and maybe just his back.
The Disabled List Informer is a blog run by a physical therapist that attempts to decode vague team diagnoses and determine what’s actually wrong with a player. He expressed concern in March about Braun’s issue, and speculated then that it may be a more serious spinal condition. Apparently the red flag is that his pain is not relieved by rest, because rest heals muscles. If you click the link in that post, you’ll see the author seemed pretty convinced last August that his condition was not an intercostal muscle sprain but more likely spine-related, possibly a herniated disc. The fact that it has lasted several months seems to back that up.
I’m hoping the Brewers have finally taken/plan to take an MRI, because this has really gone on long enough. If this is a chronic problem, the Brewers’ season is in serious jeopardy. Not to mention the long-term financial commitment the team made to Braun last year would suddenly be looking scary.
I’m not trying to panic here; unfortunately, it seems like there is plenty of evidence that warrants this level of concern. He’s continuing to miss time, and a trip to the DL wouldn’t really surprise anyone at this point.