St. Louis Cardinals’ Alex Reyes Returns To DL with a Lat Strain

St. Louis Cardinals’ Alex Reyes Returns To DL with a Lat Strain

St. Louis Cardinals’ starting pitcher Alex Reyes is unfortunately back on the disabled list (DL) with a lat strain. He pitched only four innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 30, 2018.

Although Reyes initially told reporters after the game that he was not worried about the injury at the time, Cardinals’ general manager Michael Girsch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the strain is “significant.” Girsch said the pitcher will miss at least a few games.

This is only the latest injury to plague Reyes. The May 30th game was Reyes’ return to baseball after being on the DL since September 2016 for a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), which required Tommy John Surgery.

What Is A Lat Strain?

A lat strain occurs when the latissimus dorsi is overstretched or torn. The latissimus dorsi is the broadest muscle of the back, and runs all the way from the top of the hip to the front of the upper arm near the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint.

Some activities can increase the risk of a lat strain, including:

  • sports that require throwing motions, like baseball and softball
  • rowing
  • swimming
  • swinging a baseball bat or tennis racket
  • chopping wood
  • chin-ups and push-ups
  • activities that require constant, repeated lifting of the shoulders

Symptoms of a lat strain include:

  • pain below the shoulder blade
  • pain at the front of the shoulder
  • pain in the mid-back and down the side
  • numbness, tingling, and/or aching that extends down the arm to the third and fourth fingers
  • steady, constant pain (even when muscle is at rest)
  • Pain when reaching forward or lifting arms over your head

Lat strains are graded by severity. The three grades of strains are:

  • Grade 1: mild strain in which the muscle is overstretched but not torn.
  • Grade 2: moderate strain in which the muscle is partially torn.
  • Grade 3: severe strain in which the muscle is completely torn, or ruptured

Treatment and Recovery

Initial treatment for a lat strain involves a combination of treatments known as the RICE method. The acronym RICE stands for:

  • Rest: rest the injured muscle
  • Ice: apply ice for 20 minutes every hour when awake
  • Compression: wrap affected area with an Ace bandage to reduce inflammation
  • Elevation: elevate your back by sitting in a recliner, sofa, or upright chair to enhance the healing process

Treatment primarily consists of rest to allow time for proper healing. Ultrasound, light therapy, and electric stimulation can also be used to promote the healing of tissue. Physical therapy and exercise can restore the muscle’s strength and flexibility.

In cases where the muscle is completely torn, surgery may be required. Surgery can, in some cases, involve repairing the torn muscle with sutures. More severe cases may warrant a full latissimus dorsi reconstruction, in which case the torn muscle is removed and a donor tendon (either from the patient’s own body or a cadaver) is used to replace it.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and over-the-counter pain medications can help manage the pain. If the pain is too uncomfortable, your doctor may prescribe pain medication or muscle relaxants to provide you with some relief.

Recovery time for lat strains can range from a month to a year, depending on the severity of the injury and whether surgery is required.

Hope for Reyes

Girsch told the Post-Dispatch that they are still gathering information about the injury and don’t have an estimate yet for Reyes’ return.

There is still hope for Reyes’ pitching career, however. Other baseball pitchers have recovered from lat strains and returned from the DL to enjoy successful pitching careers. Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox suffered a lat strain in 2010 and required surgery. Peavy was on the DL for over a year, but was able to return to the sport and became an All-Star in 2012.

We Can Help

Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine is dedicated to providing exceptional care to people of all ages. Our goal is to relieve pain and restore mobility and function so that you can return to your normal activities as quickly as possible. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment today.

Wainwright & Torn Achilles Tendon

Adam Wainwright Out For The Season?

A torn Achilles Tendon & many sad Cardinal fans

We are sure you’ve heard the news that Wainwright, one of Cardinals‘ finest players, is out for the remainder of the 2015 baseball season due to a torn Achilles tendon. Fans everywhere are in distress over Wainwright’s injury which has led him to having to undergo surgery which requires approximately 9 to a full year of recover time.

It all started in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers, when before his injury, Wainwright allowed only three hits and four strikeouts with zero walks.

We are happy to know that Cardinal Management is taking his injury seriously, as any foot/ankle injury that goes untreated could end up doing even more harm.

Rest up, Wainwright, we are rooting & cheering for a speedy recovery for you!

If you have an injury that needs attention, please contact our doctor at Missouri Orthopedic at 314-567-5850.

STL Cardinals & Adam Wainwright Injury

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)


End of Season Cards Injuries


While St. Louis’ favorite time of year has come to close, this is when our favorite Cardinals players get time to rest & recuperate from a long season of pitching, catching, driving and  all of those other moves that make the Birds the pride of our city. Some of the members of the team suffered some sports injuries that will get their chance to heal over the off season. Here is a rundown of where the Cardinals injuries stand.

Molina- His end of the season left oblique strain as well as his right thumb injury will be healed up & Yadi should be ready to roll by the start of the Cards spring training.

Wainwright- By the end of the season, there was some concern about Waino’s right elbow as it had apparently been causing him some discomfort. Although he will most likely still be taking it easy during spring training, he will benefit from rest before training starts.

Wacha- Although there was concern about Wacha’s right shoulder, he recently underwent an MRI that came back completely clean. He should be following a normal offseason schedule that of course will require rest & normal training.

Garcia- In July, Garcia underwent a thoracic outlet (small space underneath the collarbone) surgery & he is still not fully recovered. It is not clear now, nor will it probably be clear until spring training if Garcia will be on the Cards roster for the beginning of the 2015 season.

Jay- He is currently the only member of the Cards roster who is scheduled to have a surgery during the offseason. The centerfielder’s wrist began hurting him in July & will have his left wrist scoped & will need 6-8 weeks before he can resume offseason training.

Cards Pitcher Joe Kelly: Hamstring Injury

St. Louis Cardinals Pitcher, Joe Kelly, and his hamstring injury

Cards righthander, Joe Kelly, has advanced in his healing from a torn hamstring that the team & fans could see him back in the majors just shortly before the All-Star break.

Kelly’s injury proved more severe than the pitcher and the club expected, and the extent of the injury revealed itself after he attempted to a throw a bullpen session back in the first week of May. He said “But it doesn’t hurt. I’ve continued to do stretching exercises and strength training, taking therapy and just doing what they tell me to do. I don’t know when they’ll have me throw off the mound or when I’ll be back.”

Manager Mike Matheny said the role available for Kelly will help determine his length of his eventual rehab assignment. “You don’t see him out here doing too much except playing some catch. Sounds like his arm has been able to stay strong. He’s still doing all the workouts he used to do. It’s going as expected which is – we don’t know. When it comes to hamstrings, you push it a little and wait to see how it responds.”

Kelly said there has been no discussion about what happens when he returns. “They haven’t said anything to me yet,” he said. “I’m not worried about it. I’ll do whatever they say.”

Although he was eligible to come off the disabled list on June 8, he obviously has not been able to return that fast. And, because of the length of time he will have missed when he does return, it is likely the Cards will send him out for at least some rehabilitation work in the minors.

“We’ll deal with that situation when that time comes,” Matheny said. “It’s hard to imagine what the role is going forward. We have a long way to go before we get to that.”