Update: Jimenez is heading to the IL and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a significant hamstring injury. The Inside Injuries algorithm has this as a grade 3 (severe) hamstring strain, aka partial tear. Unfortunately the Optimal Recovery Time is 10+ weeks, so if he returns in the next few months the Risk of Re-Injury will be incredibly High.
The White Sox may have just lost one of their best players for a lengthy period of time. Eloy Jimenez was carted off on Saturday after running through first base. His right leg appeared to slightly hyperextend after he stepped on the bag, and then he stumbled to the ground. Jimenez then remained face down on the ground grabbing the back of his right leg. The cart eventually came out and he left the game.
So what are some potential injuries Jimenez could have suffered? Here are three possibilities in order of likelihood:
- Hamstring tendon rupture – the hamstring is a group of muscles that runs along the back of the upper leg. These muscles connect at the knee by both medial and lateral tendons. One of these could have ruptured. If this is the case, Jimenez would need to undergo surgery, and his season would be over.
- Hamstring strain – this is an injury we see often in baseball as the hamstring is an explosive muscle. The time missed would depend on the severity, with a grade 1 strain requiring 2-3 weeks to heal and a grade 2 5-6 weeks. If the muscle is significantly torn surgery is possible, although it isn’t too common.
- Ligament damage – there are four ligaments in the knee – ACL, MCL, LCL and PCL. Jimenez may have strained or torn one or multiple ligaments. He was grabbing at the back of the knee, which is where the PCL is located. Treatment and time missed would depend on the severity of ligament damage and which ligament was injured. For example, the MCL heals well on its own because it receives great blood supply, so surgery wouldn’t likely be needed. A damaged ACL almost always requires surgery. The PCL and LCL really depend on the severity of the strain/tear.
Eloy Jimenez will need to go for an MRI to determine his exact injury. Inside Injuries will provide an update once we learn more about what exactly is going on, but based on what I saw I fear a lengthy absence. This could even be season-ending. Jimenez was recently sidelined with ankle soreness after fouling a ball off of his leg, but this is unrelated. He missed about four months last season due to a ruptured left pectoral tendon. Jimenez does not have a history of hamstring injuries.
The White Sox announced that Jimenez left the game with “right hamstring soreness,” but of course that isn’t going to be the final diagnosis. More to come.