As reported, Chicago White Sox pitcher Matt Lindstrom battled an oblique strain this Spring. The injury plagued him for most of the team’s Spring ball session. According to White Sox beat reporter, Lindstrom likened the pain to being, “stabbed in the side.”
Saint Bonaventure University sophomore Ryan Crino, who started playing baseball at age four, battled the same injury at the onset of his senior year of varsity baseball.
“When I had it, I felt soreness in my abs,” Crino said. “It especially hurt when I would pitch because of how you need to rotate your body when throwing.”
An oblique strain, while not so uncommon, is one of the more nagging injuries in baseball — especially for pitchers. According to Crino, having an oblique strain affects a pitcher’s mechanics, rendering the pitcher useless.
“Pitching is all about control. You need to make sure that you are able to possess complete control of your body when pitching, so for something like an oblique strain, it gives you trouble when you’re trying to get the ball where you want it to go,” Crino said. “When I first realized that there was something wrong, it hurt when I would go into my windup. I lost control of my pitches a few times, and they were pretty wild. It also carried over into my play at short. Sometimes it would hurt to throw that far, and I would end up not getting it to the first baseman.”
While oblique strains can sideline players for around a month, the only method to healing, generally, is the same for most other muscle pulls and strains — time and RICE. RICE is an acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation — a recovery method that pretty much every athlete is well accustomed to.
“It always felt good when I iced the area when I would ice my arm after pitching,” Crino said. “I cut down on the amount of pitches I threw in practice and games. I also took stretching more seriously. I think that was part of my problem before was just going through the motions while stretching which is never good.”
Fortunately for Lindstrom and the White Sox, he was able to return for the tail end of Spring Training and is currently closing for the team — the role he battled fellow pitcher Nate Jones for this Spring. Lindstrom closed the game yesterday in Chicago’s 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins allowing no runs in 12 pitches.