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Injury Breakdown: Johan Santana And The Fatigue Factor

Johan Santana (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Johan Santana (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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By Abby Sims
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When New York Mets lefty Johan Santana was placed on the DL on Saturday, his previously sprained ankle was reported to be the culprit. Santana sustained the right ankle injury while covering first base on July 6 and, though he has pitched three times since, he has not been effective. In fact, since throwing 134 pitches in the Mets’ first ever no-hitter seven weeks ago, even in the period prior to his sprain, Santana’s effectiveness had waned and his ERA climbed. Santana has consistently denied any problems with his shoulder, with the exception of now reporting shoulder fatigue due to his altered mechanics because of the ankle issue.

Santana had the anterior capsule of his shoulder repaired in September 2010, causing him to miss the 2011 season. The now 33 year-old returned to form upon his return. Though there are certainly stresses placed on his glove-side ankle in pitching (particularly as his left lower extremity absorbs considerable forces as the follow-through is completed and it becomes the primary weight-bearing side), there is reason to be concerned about Santana’s shoulder, even in the absence of reported complaints. Without benefit of first hand information, one can’t help but wonder if, as is often the case, “fatigue” is more than it is made out to be, even if only a mild inflammatory condition.

Will Santana come back from the DL in full form? Sound off in the comments below…