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David Chao, MD: Fernando Tatis Jr. Out For Big Part Of Padres’ Season

Fernando Tatis Jr. came into Spring training with an offseason wrist fracture discovered at the entry physical. The scaphoid fracture was likely suffered after a December motorcycle accident.

Often scaphoid fractures feel like a wrist sprain and initial X-rays are normal. Typically it just doesn’t get better as Tatis discovered as he ramped up activities for the season. The lock out didn’t help the situation either.

The scaphoid bone has poor blood flow and is notoriously slow to heal. Now that the injury is over three months old, it can be classified as a delayed union (or early non-union), meaning it hasn’t healed as full discussed in the video here.

These types of fractures require surgery and bone graft to heal. The Padres initial timeline of “up to 3 months” seems optimistic. In my opinion, these are slow-healing fractures that take a minimum of 4-6 months to heal and maybe longer. It would be great news if Tatis returned at the delayed All-Star break.

Long-term, the Padres star should be fine, but this season will be significantly impacted. Let’s not forget the shoulder labral tear issue that we indicated needs surgery and has re-dislocated five times. Tatis chose to forgo surgery on that and it cost him 25 games last season, and this season should be no different (or worse).

Let’s hope Tatis agrees to the scaphoid surgery ASAP for a quicker and more reliable recovery, but he will still miss considerable time.

Written by Pro Football Doc

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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