So WSCR released a report a little while ago that Mark Prior has a posterior shoulder strain. The new release was an "incomplete report", but Prior will not throw at least for a few days. An MRI has probably by now already been taken (this morning) and he then will be reevaluated this Saturday, which will yield a "complete diagnosis".
So here is my proposed timeline, with facts mixed in, but mostly just my opinions and bleak predictions.
1) Prior has taken too kindly to the hobby of golf, much like Zambino and his incessant emailing of family members last year, which was luckily caught before it got to serious. I hear a golf swing can contribute to shoulder injuries, hmm?
2) Cubs attempt to cover-up or not release information regarding Prior's naggingly sore shoulder thus far this spring. In turn, they put him on a strictly monitored agenda to get him to 100%... all behind closed doors of course, so no one can see he is throwing much less than he should be.
3) The injury continues to nag, and the trainers realize it is time to get it checked out. The team releases the report that Prior is going to San Diego to see Dr. Yocum, although it's most likely nothing serious, because this is the first time Prior has complained of any soreness all year. They would just like to take every precaution. [hack!]Sorry, I just puked a little in my mouth.
4) The team releases the preliminary report that he has a shoulder strain and will be thoroughly evaluated a few days later.
5) Well, it looks like the injury is not exactly what was originally diagnosed, as the MRI showed a slight tear of Prior's rotator cuff. He will need a very minor surgery, but should be able to participate in an abbreviated individual spring training by April, and should be back pitching by the second week in May.
6) Prior has surgery. After the surgery, it is determined that the injury was slightly more serious that previously thought, and Prior will have to spend substantial time in rehab, possibly bringing him back around the time of the All-Star Break.
So I guess it's pretty clear that I am not giving many people associated with the team the benefit of the doubt right now, but let's face it. They have led the fans on with every single one of our pitcher's injuries in the past. It always turns out to be "a little more serious than previously thought" and "injuries to the shoulder are so complicated that it is impossible to predict exactly when [a pitcher] will be back from one. He'll just have to start getting loose and throwing when able and we'll see how it goes." Ugh, I feel history repeating itself...
Please, feel free to comment.