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.

Cardinals Like What They See in Oh, Hazelbaker

The St. Louis Cardinals, with a record of 16-16 as of May 9, aren’t off to the most torrid start they’ve ever seen, but newcomers Seung Hwan Oh and Jeremy Hazelbaker are giving them plenty of reasons to feel optimistic. In the first few weeks of the season, the pair have already made a splash in the St. Louis sports news scene. With starts like theirs, Cardinal fans and players alike are asking, “Who are these guys, and are they for real?”

Meet Mr. Oh

Seung Whan, pronounced sewn-whan, is a native of South Korea. His calm demeanor on the mound earned him the nickname “Stone Buddha.” He signed with the Cards in the offseason after playing the last two seasons in Japan, where he established himself as a force in the bullpen. In 2015, he broke his own Japanese Central League saves record with 41 and made the All-Star team.

Despite such prowess, nobody around Cardinal land knew what to expect of Oh as a rookie in Major League Baseball. Success playing abroad is one thing, but how would he fare in the Major Leagues facing unfamiliar hitters? The early results are in, judge for yourself:

  • 20 strikeouts in 16 and 1/3 innings
  • Team-leading 1.65 ERA
  • No home runs allowed
  • .158 opponent’s batting average

Looks like he has the Cardinals’ brass singing, “Oh say, can you stay?”

Meet Mr. Hazelbaker

At 28, Jeremy Hazelbaker has finally arrived in the Big Show. Drafted by the Red Sox in 2009, he spent the last seven seasons bouncing around the Minors. The Cards selected his contract from AAA Memphis just before the season began, and he’s not wasting any time in confirming that their decision was a good one.

Thus far, the center-fielder has clubbed six home runs, knocked in 14 and is hitting an eyebrow-raising .297, significantly better than his career .264 average in the Minors. On April 11 against the Brewers, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, including a double and a triple.

“It’s an indescribable feeling,” he replied when asked how he feels after making it to the Majors. “It’s been a long journey, quite a journey. It’s finally paid off.”

Congratulations Seung Hwan Oh and Jeremy Hazelbaker. Here’s to your continued health and success!

At Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine, your health and mobility is our priority. If you are suffering from an orthopedic or sports injury, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Kolten Wong Has Concussion

Second basemen, Kolten Wong, has concussion

St. Louis Cardinal player has concussion after hitting head

July 7th, the Cardinals took on the Chicago Cubs where in the 5th inning, Kolten Wong, hit his head after making an incredible catch in right field leaving him with a concussion.
“I hit right on the side of my head and landed right on my face,” Wong said. “It threw me back a little bit. I was a little dizzy. … As the game progressed, my headache got worse and worse and so they brought me in. … I had a headache the whole time, and it’s still lingering a little bit.”
Watch Wong Make this catch by clicking here!

Read the full coverage of this article, written by Jennifer Langosch here: Wong hits head on catch.

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.