Milwaukee Brewers Pitcher Corey Knebel Injury Dicussion

It’s been one week into the baseball season and we have an unfortunate injury that occurred yesterday as Brewers’ Pitcher Corey Knebel injured his left hamstring on the mound against the Chicago Cubs.

He has been moved to the disabled list (DL) and begins rehabilitation and treatment.

Hamstring Injury Grade:

  • Grade I – Muscle Strain
  • Grade II – Muscle Partial Tear
  • Grade III – Muscle Complete Tear
    • If the tear occurs at the attachment site and pulls some of the bone with it, it is known as an Avulsion Injury.

Hamstring injuries can occur either in the belly of the muscle or at the tendinous attachment site at the ischial tuberosity. Hamstring strain injuries when there is an overload on the muscle or tendon itself that the muscle can no longer bear. There is an overstretch component with a sudden load.

There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of hamstring injuries.

  • Muscular imbalances – most commonly stated that the quadriceps is stronger than the hamstrings
  • Muscular stiffness and tightness – not properly “warmed-up”
  • Muscular fatigue
  • Poor muscular conditioning

Anatomy Review:

The “Hamstring Muscle Group” are the primary muscles on the posterior portion of the femur. They help extend the hip joint and help flex the knee joint. They are incredibly important for control of hip and knee when opposing muscles are contracting.

There are three sets of hamstring muscles, two on medial side of the femur and one on the lateral side of the femur

  • Semimembranosus (medial)
    • assists the Popliteus, when the knee is slightly bent, with inward rotation of the leg
  • Semitendinosus (medial)
  • Biceps Femoris (lateral)

What Rehabilitation Could Look Like:

Since the injury is a muscular injury there will be a heavy involvement of manual treatment involved from: massage, deep tissue work, targeted hamstring manual work, hamstring mobilizations, and PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation).

Also the use of a TENS unit to help with the pain and inflammation will be important too. Followed by the use of EMS (electrical motor stimulation) to help rebuild the strength of the hamstring muscle group.

When he eventually transitions into strength work for his hamstring, he may start with very standard exercises like the seated hamstring curl exercise machine or other leg curling exercises and some hip thrusters.

Eventually he will need to transition to single leg exercises that put his hamstring under load and tension: introducing the Romanian Deadlift.

My Take:

He’s going to miss a significant portion of the season if there is a severe tear in his hamstring. Also determining where the tear is will also be influential in his timetable for return. If there is a complete tear (Grade 3) he could miss anywhere from three to four months of the season but anything less can be from one/two weeks to several months. He’ll return this season it’s dependent on what the MRI says and how his rehabilitation goes and if he doesn’t have setbacks in treatment.

He potentially can have minor hamstring discomfort throughout the season if he does not return 100%. Hamstring injuries can be season-long nagging injuries, since the hamstring has to lengthen under tension every time he pitches.

But more important for the Brewers, he will be back during the season.



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