Does Willis have a torn ACL?
Dontrelle Willis was brought up from Lakeland to have his knee examined yet again. Willis has of course been “not right” all year long. He struggled with his control in the spring and it never got better before or after he slipped on the mound in Chicago culminating in a demotion to Class A Lakeland. Is it possible that Willis did more than hyperextend the knee and perhaps damaged the ACL?
Eddie Bajek of Detroit Tigers Thoughts believes this to be the case and he provides a pretty interesting theory. I’ve known Eddie online for several years and the guy isn’t a dummy. At the same time he’s a mechanical engineer and not an orthopod, nor does he have access to any test results. But the chronology and events around this, as well as some photographic evidence from Dontrelle’s Lakeland appearance don’t add up.
Willis experienced pain during his rehab assignment. He hopped around in each of his appearances and even solicited a visit from trainer Kevin Rand during his Oakland start. And yet the knee was deemed fine. If the knee is the source of his control problems in some respects it is reassuring that said problems could be correctable. But if the above is true that is pretty damning of the staff that it got this far.