The Duffy Dilemma

Chris Duffy suffered a Grade I MCL sprain to his right knee in 2001 as a Junior with the AZ Sun Devils. After a month of ‘intense rehab’, Duffy came back and put together a team high 19-game hitting streak.

Last August, Chris suffered a torn left hamstring. As of January 12, 2006, he still was not running bases. On January 29th, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported Duffy was ‘instructed’ to take a week off instead of participating on the third leg of the Pirate caravan. Evidently, Chris has been in Bradenton doing rehab work since January 8th.

One of the problems with a torn hamstring injury is the potential for recurrence because, once torn and re-healed, the muscle shortens and gets tighter, thus allowing a vicious cycle to be established.

Ray Lewis of the Ravens had the same problem Duffy had last December – a torn hamstring. After several medical opinions, Lewis decided on surgery because the risk for re-injury was too great for him. Raven coach Brian Billick said:

"There’s a school of thought that says, let’s strengthen it and see where it’s at. Maybe you don’t need surgery. There was great strength to the point where he could probably play, but on re-examining it, from the long-term perspective, it was probably better to go with the surgery, because it was the best long-term solution."

I’m not a doctor, nor do I have any medical training, so I can’t say what is best for Duffy – only he knows that. Researching the subject via Google lends credence to Lewis’ decision to have surgery as the best ‘long-term’ solution. Whether Duffy will ever need surgery or not, and whether or not he will be spending more time on the DL, only time will tell us.

But if I was paying the bills at 315 Federal Street in Pittsburgh, I would have to be more than concerned about Duffy’s injury potential.. especially in 2006. With Nate McClouth, Jody Gerut, and even Craig Wilson still around, there won’t be a problem finding someone to fill in as a batter. Leading off… well, that is a different story.

With Chris not able to even compete in the Pirate caravan for a week, I am going to assume that Chris Duffy is not 100% as we are being led to believe he is.

But, that’s my take..


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