Eloy Jimenez Pectoral Tear: MLB Injury Watch & Return Timetable for White Sox Slugger

Kyle Trimble is a licensed physical therapist here to provide MLB injury analysis on Eloy Jimenez left pectoral tear.

Five-tool Chicago White Sox slugger Eloy Jimenez suffered a left pectoral tear attempting to scale the outfield wall to rob a home run on March 25th. It has since been reported that Jimenez would require surgery and would be out 5-to-6 months as he recovers. This costly injury, just one week prior to Opening Day, may have already derailed World Series hopes for The South Siders as they look to build off last season’s Wild Card berth.

While NFL stars such as JJ Watt and Kwon Alexander have returned much quicker from similar injuries, Jimenez’s rehab timeline is vastly different.

Eloy Jimenez Pectoral Tear

The pectoral muscle is a large, fan-shaped muscle that connects from the sternum and clavicle, stretching over the rib cage laterally to attach to the humerus. This is a powerful muscle required for inward rotation, flexion, and adduction

Anatomy of the pectoral muscle and places it can tear. (Credit: NRL.com)

Jimenez suffered the pectoral tear when he jumped up on the fence and hooked his left arm over to gain leverage in trying to catch the home run. Attempting to hold himself up while contracting the pectoral muscle against his bodyweight pulling him down caused an eccentric contraction, lengthening the muscle under tension. The sudden forces to the muscle overloaded it to such a point that it tore the tendon, the portion that connects the muscle to the bone.

The reason that Jimenez is unable to return until August at the earliest is due to the positional demands of baseball compared to football. Football players can wear a shoulder harness and limit their snaps or move their position to limit stress on that injury. Jimenez couldn’t wear a shoulder harness due to the many restrictions it would place on his abilities to effectively play. 

This would limit his throwing and batting mechanics, inhibiting the full range of motion. He wouldn’t be able to run efficiently or be able to slide head or feet first without overstressing the healing muscle. Even if he was willing to play with a brace, the weakened muscle simply wouldn’t allow him the power to hit or throw, robbing him of the traits that make him great. If Jimenez can return by August, he will still not be at 100 percent as these types of injuries can take 6-to-9 months to fully recover.

MLB Betting & Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Don’t waste a pick or trade on Jimenez in your fantasy draft for this season unless you are in a dynasty league. He may be worth a waiver-wire pickup after the All-Star break if positive news is coming out and the White Sox are still in contention at that point. However, even if Jimenez does return this season, I would not expect him to put up prorated statistics comparable to last season. However, surgical outcomes are excellent, indicating that 2022 may be his year.

While the White Sox are +400 to win the pennant, this line could change and still be a smart bet to wager if the Sox can overcome Jimenez’s loss, resulting in a bigger payout. Or if you are a risk-averse bettor, money may be better well spent on the Yankees or Twins.

Kyle Trimble is a licensed physical therapist who also works as an injury spotter for Dr. David Chao. Kyle has extensive experience in outpatient orthopedics, skilled nursing, acute care hospital, and home care. He’s also a member of Bills Mafia and runs the website Banged Up Bills.

Disclaimer from Kyle: My opinions are my own. Any thoughts I have on the injuries are based on media reports, my knowledge of the injury, and speculation based on the information currently available including video and print media. This information is subject to change based on the information released by the team.

After reading Kyle’s update on Eloy Jimenez left pectoral tear, get more MLB betting and fantasy baseball tips:

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