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John Danks out indefinitely with Grade 1 subscapularis tear

Misery loves company: John Danks is on the DL for the near future.


So just in case that 12-3 beatdown of Zach Stewart and his bullpen friends by the Cubs wasn't enough, the White Sox released even more bad news shortly after the game ended: John Danks isn't coming back from his rehab assignment any time soon.

But where exactly is your subscapularis and what does it do? And what the hell does a Grade 1 tear mean?

The subscapularis is that big muscle attached to the ventral (front) side of your shoulder blade. It looks like this:


It connects the scapula (shoulder blade) to the humerus and the shoulder capsule, forming the largest part of the rotator cuff. It's primary responsibilities include internal rotation of the humeral head (moving the humerus towards your chest) and preventing the ever exciting forward subluxation (dislocated shoulder). As with all muscles, the tendons are always liable to tear under great strain. Pitching definitely counts.

This is where the grading comes in. A Grade 0 tear means nothing is out of the ordinary. That's what most normal people would look like. Grade 1 involves some fraying or other irregularities of the tendon. Grade 2 involves a more extensive tear, but with the muscle still attached to the bone. By the time you hit Grade 3, the tendon is completely torn through. So the good news is that he likely won't need surgery. Key word being likely. The bad news is that the way you likely avoid surgery with this injury is to shut him down for a long time. Like, maybe the rest of the season.

The Sox have a better medical staff than I could ever hope to be and professional athletes have access to medical technology and practitioners that us normal folks can only dream of. But you don't screw around with a pitcher's shoulder. Especially one you just signed to a five year extension. He might be able to come back by September, but the trade deadline definitely just got more interesting. Jose Quintana fans, you're going to get to see your boy pitch a lot more.