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Local doctor discusses Christian Yelich knee injury

Posted: 7:15 PM, Sep 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-11 23:38:07-04

It wasn't just a bad dream, Brewers fans. Slugger Christian Yelich is out for the season after fracturing his kneecap on a foul ball. But, sources are saying it's likely he won't need surgery.

So what are some of the factors in that evaluation? We spoke with Sports Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Sam Steiner at Orthopedic Associates of Wisconsin.

"The good news is that Yelich was able to walk off the field under his own power, after the trainer attended to him," said Dr. Steiner. "That means it's likely not the worst kind of fracture it could be, and might not require surgery at all."

Surgery would require a lot more recovery time.

"Going in and putting plates and screws in there, or sometimes bands of wires," he said. "It all depends."

Even without surgery, the key is staying off of the injured knee for a long time.

"He's young and in great shape, so his bone will heal faster," said Dr. Steiner. "He has great therapists who will work with him every day on rehabbing his knee, so those are good factors to get him back to sport faster."

Dr. Steiner expects Yelich to be be back to normal by next season. But still, there could be lasting repercussions, especially in terms of his speed.

"If you fracture all the way through the bone, you've damaged the cartilage underneath as well," he said. "So, even though people at first can say 'my knee feels good and back to normal,' later on they can start to notice signs of problems with the cartilage, which means arthritis. That can affect your speed, especially when running the bases."