8/10/2014 4:34 P.M. ET
Rockies send Tulo back to Denver for more opinions
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- The Rockies sent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki back to Denver and will be receiving more opinions on why he is experiencing discomfort in the front part of the left hip when he increases his rehab activity.
Tulowitzki has not played since July 19 because of a left hip flexor strain. This week, at Coors Field and at Chase Field, he has been taking batting practice and doing some movement drills but has been unable to graduate to running the bases.
"Tulo is feeling better; he's still, to be honest with you, having on-and-off discomfort in the front of the hip," Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said. "We're trying to isolate exactly is this from the strain that he had or is there an underlying hip labrum, something like that, that we can address. Our goal right now is to see if he can make it through the season.
"He's not ready to go out on a rehab assignment. There's no need for him to go to San Diego. He can go back home, get his work in the cages, use the pool for some of the higher-intensity exercise we're doing. We're going to consult with a few doctors."
Dugger would not call the issue with the front of the hip a setback, just "something that isn't going at the rate we would expect." Dugger said the Rockies must be careful, because Tulowitzki will always be at injury risk in the upper leg area because of a torn left quadriceps tendon he suffered in 2008.
Tulowitzki still leads the Majors in batting (.340), on-base percentage (.432) and OPS (1.035).
Anderson unlikely to return, to see surgeon Monday
PHOENIX -- Rockies left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson will visit Monday with a spinal surgeon about a bulging disk in his lower back. Even if surgery isn't the answer, he's unlikely to return this year.
Anderson left Tuesday's start against the Cubs after three scoreless innings. Anderson (1-3, 2.91 ERA in eight starts) had pitched well after missing three months with a fractured left index finger. Now, his next step is to visit with Arizona spinal surgeon Dr. Chris Young to decide whether surgery or an epidural treatment is the route.
"I doubt it," Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said when asked whether Anderson could return if he doesn't have surgery. "It takes a couple weeks to calm it down even if we go the injection route. Then you've got to rehab him a couple weeks, get him on his core exercises."
The injury is a blow to the oft-injured Anderson, 26. He had no history of back problems, but was limited to 16 big league appearances last year with the Athletics because of a right foot stress fracture and ankle issues, and he underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in 2011.
In the starting rotation, the Rockies have already lost righty Tyler Chatwood to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, and although righty Jhoulys Chacin has begun light throwing exercises, it's against the odds that he'll return this year from right shoulder rotator cuff inflammation and a slight labrum tear.
Rockies place CarGo on 15-day disabled list
PHOENIX -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez's left knee tendinitis is the official reason he has been placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, but an accumulation of rough breaks in a difficult season could be blamed as well.
The hope still is for Gonzalez to return before season's end, but a lot of that depends on what turns out as the best treatment plan for the tendinitis. The Rockies recalled first baseman Ben Paulsen from Triple-A Colorado Springs in a corresponding move.
Gonzalez has been beaten down by a year that began with an appendectomy in January, a benign tumor in his left index finger that began affecting him in January and was removed in June, a left calf contusion and a twisted right ankle two weeks ago.
Add to that the fact he and his wife, Indonesia, welcomed twins born at 30 weeks in June, and just brought one of them home a few days ago, and it's more than typical baseball pains.
"CarGo is dealing with a lot right now," Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said. "It's multiple injuries. You can see mental stress on him. You can see physical stress. Basically there comes a point in time when he's not performing at the rate he wants to. He feels bad. Walt [Weiss, the manager] feels bad putting him in the lineup.
"We made the decision, not just me making the decision, that he needs to take time off. He's going back home. We're going to get that ankle right. We know he's got patella tendinitis he's been dealing with. We know that thing isn't going away overnight or even in a week, and we'll get other opinions. But, again, we don't need other opinions. We know how to handle this situation."
The question with the tendinitis is if the normal rest and rehab will improve it, or will Gonzalez and the Rockies treat it with other techniques, such as plasma-rich platelets or stem-cell treatment. The problem with those is they would likely end his year.
"There are multiple ways of handling that, but when these guys sign a contract, it's for the full year," Dugger said. "Unfortunately, that's part of our job to understand. This is a business and a sport. If we think he's going to get worse or at greater risk for injuring himself, then we're taking him out just like we did the other night. Mentally, he couldn't handle it, and that's because physically his body is breaking down. He's had a rough go."
The left knee tendinitis showed up last year, and was an underlying concern when a strained ligament in his right middle finger was scuttling the second half of his season.
With the somewhat chronic nature of the injury, it could be that Gonzalez will have to adjust his in-season and offseason daily routines to control the problem. It's questionable how realistic an addition to his routine would have been this year, when he was spending pregame and postgame time at the hospital with his wife and his child, and when he had multiple other injuries.
The condition of the knee hasn't been consistent, and that factor has made deciding whether to play him in a given game or place him on the DL a difficult one for Weiss and the Rockies.
"We felt like if it got to a point where it wasn't getting any better or it was defeating the purpose, sending him out there, then we'd put him on the DL," Weiss said. "We'll give him some time and maybe his knee will calm down.
"I'd like to see him back. I don't like to see players shut down the last part of the season. It's important to be out there playing and going into the offseason with a healthy mindset and some confidence, as opposed to going to the offseason thinking about rehab. Hopefully, we see him back on the field before it's all over with."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.