UPDATED: Polanco Broken Elbow News Is Getting Blown Way Out Of Proportion


So… not to pat myself on the back, but Polanco said he was misquoted in Spanish.  Pretty much what I said this morning.  [Matt Gelb]

Polanco shot down that AP report. Said he was misquoted in Spanish. "How could I be playing with a broken elbow?"

Polanco's status hasn't changed. He has bone spurs that will require offseason surgery.


At first blush, the report from the AP that says Placido Polanco has a broken elbow conjures up visions of sports heroism.  An unasssuming star that is playing through an injury for the betterment of the team, ala Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series.  Those visions would be correct- Placido Polanco has been playing with an injured elbow… since June.

It has been widely reported that Polanco has a bone spur in his left elbow that will require surgery at the end of the season.  On Thursday, Polanco told the AP the following, which was first reported on elcaribe.com.do.  [translated]

I have a broken elbow, but it is rather small and will be operated on at the end of the year.  It is something minor, less than half an hour [the surgery], and rehabilitation will take only a month. I have not been operated on before because I would have lost the season if I did it.

The interview also included such gems as:

The adjustment process was not difficult [switch from second to third]. It took only about 15-20 games, because the angle of the hitter is different, we also have to throw the farthest and bunt plays are handled differently.


Given the very generic questions and dateline of "Santo Domingo" in the article, this probably nothing more than an interview for his hometown press, conducted in Spanish.  Read the original story here- in espanol, yo.

In fact, Polanco told reporters something very similar on August 19th (translated from El Caribe)


When I do this movement, I click the nerve.  I think at the end of the season we will have to undergo a small surgery, which lasts about 40 minutes.  And then in almost two months would be swinging and moving the arm.


The key difference between Thursday's interview and last month's?  The phrase "Tengo una fractura en el codo."  Or, "I have a broken elbow." 

Further, it seems as if none of the Phillies english speaking beat reporters were on Thursday's call (we have an inquiry out to confirm this).  And there was no press release from the Phillies.  Why? Because there was nothing new to report.  The terms "bone spur" and "loose bodies" have been thrown around for a couple months in regard to Polanco's injury.  A bone spur is a tiny projection that forms along joints- like the elbow.  They can break off and become loose bodies, requiring surgery and causing the exact same symptons Polanco described:  [Mayo Clinic]

Loose bodies can drift into the areas in between the bones that make up your joint, getting in the way and causing intermittent locking — a sensation that something is preventing you from moving your joint. This joint locking can come and go as the loose bodies move into and out of the way of your joint.

We all knew this, yet every major news outlet, including ESPNNBC, and Comcast Sportsnet have ran with this story.

We're not taking anything away from Polanco's courage to play through pain, but there's nothing new here.  Looks like a big 'ol case of semantics, folks.


14 Responses

  1. i bet Werthless really feels like crap now… Polanco has a “broken elbow” and still bats 300+. Can’t to see Mr Werthless’ stat-line tonight. I wonder if the Phils will let a custom jersey with the name “Werthless” on the back slip through.

  2. (So much hatin on Werth on the above comment. It’s not nice and it isn’t fair to him.)
    I still cringe everytime I visualize the night that Polanco got hit in the elbow. You just knew that there would be extensive injury from the hit so I’m not surprised.
    I’m also not surprised that he’s playing through the pain. He’s just that caliber of player and should be applauded for it.
    Thanks, Polly, for hanging in there for the rest of the season. The Phillies thank you and we thank you.

  3. I agree Barb, good analysis… and right now, you can’t say anything negative about the Phils, especially Werth… we are right where we want to be

  4. @Barb you probably ignore the way he is stinking it up on the field mentally and physically because you are holding on to some notion that you find him attractive.
    I have said it once and i will say it again Mr. Werthless has his mind on his money and his money on his mind and that has hurt him this season. His hot start and then talks in the media about his “value” has only hurt more. The dude is literally a walking zombie out there now.
    Answer this question when is the last time you saw him smile and saw a look on his face like he was actually enjoying playing the game?

  5. How can we NOT say anything negative about werth?
    He isn’t playing up to the contract he wants and he has been average in he field and awful in the box. Have you seen some of his swings?

  6. Excuse me, D, but whether I find him attractive or not has nothing to do with my opinion of him. Please, I’m not a youngster salivating over him. I’m entitled to my opinion of him just as you are. He’s struggling now but he smiles at every great hit/play that his team-mates make. He’s stil hussles on the field.

  7. hey barb i will be watching how often Werthless smiles tonight. I would prefer watching him light up the stat sheet though

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