Prior to Tuesday’s double-header against the Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black notioned that fans may be seeing action from sophomore outfielder David Dahl relatively soon, but wouldn’t give an exact timeline.
“He’s getting close again,” Black said. “I think there’s some mild rotational happening, there’s some rotational stuff occurring—weight room, training room. So he’s getting close. I’m not going to say closer than you think, but he’s getting close.”
Two months ago in the midst of Spring Training, Dahl inexplicably started experiencing back pain, which the Rockies training staff quickly chalked up as a stress reaction in his rib. According to a Princeton University review from the Athletic Medicine department, such reactions can threaten towards a stress fracture.
The article states: “A rib stress injury can be described as a rib stress ‘reaction’ or can lead to a rib stress ‘fracture’ if not managed or treated correctly from the start of symptoms. The difference between a ‘reaction’ and a ‘fracture’ is a matter of degree. Both suggest a disruption of bone metabolism. Stress fractures can be described as an area in the bone that has become weakened and microscopic cracks have gradually formed because the bone is repeatedly loaded and stressed.”
A couple weeks ago, Black and the training staff tested Dahl to see if the injury was still smoldering, but instead of helping him, the return to heightened activity hurt him.
“We ramped him up, whenever that was, and it sort of flared up,” Black said. “Again you go by how the player’s feeling, the symptoms. You do the work and then everything’s fine and you ramp him up, and at that point he wasn’t quite ready. The fire was still smoldering. The embers were still there. Any sort of ignition flared it back up, and that’s what happened with Dahl.”
For now, the staff is going to take a step back from integrating Dahl back into the lineup, but it sounds like that hesitation won’t last much longer.
“You got to put it out,” Black said. “You got to put the fire out, man.”