I feel sick right now. All I can keep thinking is that I hope this isn’t as bad as it looked.
One really bad injury at first base for a Chicago Cubs prospect was enough for me for several years. That one was shortstop Ed Howard, who is still recovering after hip surgery, and the hope is that he’ll be back for some part of Spring Training.
I worry now that the same timeline might have to be the hope for outfielder Alexander Canario after a really-quite-bad-looking injury at first base in a Dominican Winter League game.
Here’s what happened:
It was the same gd situation as the Howard injury, as a slightly errant throw took Canario off his usual running course juuuust enough that he hit the bag wrong. That’s when the ankle buckled.
You can tell that Canario is immediately in severe pain, and he of course left the game thereafter. What you can’t quite see in that video, but you can in the don’t-watch-if-you’re-squeamish-slow-mo close up, is that his ankle rolled outward (not the usual inward), and that just makes it seem all the worse. Not a doctor. All I can go by is how it looked and how Canario reacted. Both things seem really, really bad.
Ultimately, Canario had to be helped off the field by a whole lotta folks.
All we can do at this point is hope that it’s not, in fact, as bad as it looked. From there, you hope that Canario can be something resembling good health for Spring Training. He was highly likely to head back to Triple-A to open the season, even after his breakout 2022, but he was also pretty darn likely to see big league action at some point next year. The last thing you even want to think about is that being derailed because of a serious DWL injury.
Realistically? If you’re a person who wants to guard his or her heart, as I do? I’m just going to hope he can play most of next season, and that his swing and running and everything else are not seriously impacted by whatever recovery awaits him.
Damn it. I’m gonna be sick. Prayers up for Canario.
UPDATE: According to – I believe – the team’s doctor, Canario suffered a “bimalleolar left ankle fracture,” and also a dislocated left shoulder on the play. First you’ve gotta hope that the shoulder location was of the variety that can heal with relative ease on its own, as Canario was likely to be fairly immobilized for a while anyway.
The ankle, then, figures to be the big issue, and it sounds extra bad to me when it’s the ends of both the tibia and fibular that are broken (which is what a “bimalleoloar” fracture is, apparently).
You can do the google doctor thing if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to be worried that Canario will never play again. Suffice to say, the official-looking literature suggests there are serious long-term risks here, and a best case scenario could have him maybe playing again at some point next season. A recent article at the National Library of Medicine indicates that it can take up to six months after surgery just to get back to normal weight-bearing activity. So aggressively playing baseball, assuming that ability returns, would seem to come a ways after that.
This is an absolute gut punch, and I can’t imagine how Canario is feeling today.
You just have to hope for a good surgery, a good recovery, a great rehab, and then full functionality from there. All the best to Canario. He’s still young, at 22, and in great shape. He’ll have outstanding support from the Cubs organization. Fingers crossed for a long time.