Saturday, April 22, 2006

Derrick Lee's Injury Not So Bad as to Require Trade

The Cubs are unable to find a replacement for injured first baseman Derrick Lee because trades are too difficult in April, or so the team would have the public believe. But the fact is that no immediate need is seen to replace Lee. After studying X-Ray and MRI results, the front office has decided to avoid trading away Cubs players, prospects and resources to acquire someone when Lee could be verging close to recovery as soon as six weeks. Examinations prove that the two broken bones near Lee's right wrist are still perfectly aligned, meaning that they are no more than cracks and will heal themselves with no need for surgery. The tendons, ligaments and cartilage remain intact, with full articulation at the joints. The breaks, strickly limited to the bone shafts, have already been immobilized with a firm cast from Lee's fingertips nearly to his shoulder. But that cast will be replaced with a shorter variation within three weeks, and Lee will be 80-90 percent healed within a month. In as soon as six weeks Lee could be cleared for rehabilitation, then restore himself to playing strength through excercise over the course of another 12 to 16 days. Until then the Cubs will rely primarily upon second baseman Todd Walker and bench reserve John Mabry, both of whom at least have limited first base experience.