Things just went from bad to worse for Angels’ ace Jered Weaver, who has been diagnosed with a fractured elbow and will be out at least 4-6 weeks. Word broke today that Weaver suffered a fracture to the radial head of his non-throwing arm, which happened during Sunday’s loss to the Rangers’ as he was diving to avoid a line drive up the middle. Weaver was immediately placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 8th.
The good news was that the fracture was diagnosed as non-displaced, which basically means the shape, form, and structure of the bone wasn’t compromised except for a “crack” at the fractured site. The typical timeframe for returning from a standard, non-displaced fracture is 4-6 weeks, so the timeline originally given to Weaver is right on the money.
So what does a radial head fracture mean for Weaver moving forward? Not too much, to be honest. This particular fracture will have an effect on his elbow and forearm mobility, as the radial head comes together with the humerus (arm bone) to form the lateral aspect of the elbow joint. The motions most likely to be limited will be elbow flexion (bending), elbow extension (straightening), and forearm pronation and supination (turning forearm/palm down and up, respectively).
From a baseball perspective, he should be fine throwing the ball and going through his windup/delivery once the fracture heals and strength is restored around the elbow and forearm. He’ll have some mobility issues with turning his glove over to field ground balls and with gripping/swinging a bat, but those aren’t the reasons he’s on your fantasy team to begin with.
Expect Weaver to make a full recovery and to jump right back into things without issue, as rust shouldn’t be as much of an issue in his case. He should be able to continue to keep his arm loose and throw the ball just fine while the left arm heals, which will make the transition back to pitching that much smoother. CJ Wilson now becomes the ace for the Angels for the next 4-6 weeks and look for the Angels to promote someone from within or look to a cheap veteran free agent to bridge the gap until Weaver returns.