MLB injured list: Return timeline, updates, impact for Clayton Kershaw, Luis Severino, Shohei Ohtani, others

Baseball's regular season is nearly here. But, as is always the case, the injury bug hasn't waited until Opening Day to feast on some of the game's top players.

We have every single MLB injury chronicled here and updated often to let you know who is in or out each night and beyond. But this page will look at the most important injuries in MLB and how they are affecting teams and players moving forward. 

Notable MLB injuries

Injury: Shoulder

Status: Will miss Opening Day

March 18 update: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts officially ruled out Kershaw as the team's Opening Day starter. Kershaw was thought to have made progress in recent weeks despite having not yet pitched in a spring game, but ultimately he was unable to get back to 100 percent in time to start on Opening Day. Kershaw will next throw in a live batting practice session on Wednesday.

Injury: Shoulder

Status: Out until May

March 15 update: Severino's MRI showed rotator cuff inflammation, and it looks like that inflammation will cost him the first month of the season. General manager Brian Cashman doesn't believe Severino will return earlier than May. The Yankees will look in-house for a replacement for their ace, manager Aaron Boone said Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga are the top candidates. Last month, Severino and the Yankees agreed to a four-year, $40 million deal.

Injury: Calf

Status: Doubtful for Opening Day

March 7 update: Lindor is still in the midst of rehabbing a right calf strain he suffered while preparing for spring training. Indians manager Terry Francona said the shortstop took ground balls and batting practice on Wednesday. But Francona said Lindor is still not moving laterally.

Injury: Recovery from Tommy John surgery

Status: Won't pitch in 2019, may return as DH in May

March 7 update: The Angels' two-way sensation underwent Tommy John surgery in October. He recently began his post-surgery throwing program, but he won't pitch in 2019. He will, however, resume his role as the Angels' primary DH, possibly as early as May. As MLB.com's Alyson Footer reports, Ohtani recently began hitting soft toss, which is an important step forward. 

Injury: Shoulder

Status: Doubtful for Opening Day

March 8 update: Martinez was shut down earlier this spring because of discomfort in his throwing shoulder. He received a PRP injection in late February and could resume throwing inside of a week. He's not likely to be ready by Opening Day, but his progress suggests that he could return soon after that. 

Injury: Shoulder

Status: Doubtful for Opening Day

March 6 update: Polanco underwent labrum surgery last September, which means he may need to be on the injured list to start the regular season. According to Nubyjas Wilborn of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Polanco is now throwing from 120 feet. He could see game action during spring training, but he's not going to play the field. Barring setback, he'll ramp up his activity in the coming days. The hope is that he won't have to miss many games to start the season. 

Injury: Heel

Status: Expected to play this season

Feb. 15 update: Last summer, the Mets' outfielder underwent surgery on both heels, so the recovery process has been a methodical one. There's no clear timetable for his return, and this point the only guide is Cespedes' mid-February statement that he believes he will return to the active roster at some point in 2019. Earlier that same month, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen indicated that the team probably wouldn't have a time frame for Cespedes' return until after the regular season begins. 

Injury: Elbow

Status: Ruled out for Opening Day start

March 11 update: Foltynewicz's right elbow soreness appears not to be a serious ailment, but he won't be ready in time for Opening Day. On Monday, Braves general manager confirmed that Foltynewicz won't be ready for the season's first game. The 2018 All-Star was cleared after a medical evaluation, but will have to throw at least one live batting practice before being cleared to make a start, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman. He still could join the starting rotation within the regular season's first week. 

Injury: Foot

Status: Out until at least early May

March 8 update: On Tuesday, Sano had surgery on a laceration to his lower Achilles area of his right ankle. The injury took place in January, but the Twins elected to get more aggressive in the treatment. The Twins knew the injury took place in the Dominican Republic but were reportedly surprised as to the severity once Sano arrived in camp. Sano isn't expected to begin baseball activity until the middle of April, per chief baseball officer Derek Falvey (MLB.com).  

Injury: Knee

Status: Likely out until mid-to-late April

March 15 update: Earlier this offseason, the 38-year-old lefty underwent angioplasty and right knee surgery, and he's likely to miss the first few weeks of the season. Interestingly enough, Sabathia still may open the season on the active roster as a means of completing the five-game suspension he was handed last year.

Injury: Oblique

Status: Out for Opening Day

March 10 update: Guerrero suffered an oblique injury and according to the team and will be sidelined for three weeks or so. That's not going to leave him enough time to get ready for Opening Day. Of course because the team wanted to rig his service time and thus push back free agency for a full year, they very likely weren't going to put Guerrero on the 25-man roster to start the season (even though he very much deserves to be on it). Now they have a tidy excuse not to do so. 

Injury: Elbow

Status: Expected to play Opening Day

March 14 update: Seager, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, played three innings at shortstop in a minor league game. It was his first game action since surgery. Seager fielded one ball and made the throw to first base even though it wasn't necessary "just to kind of check that off," he told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Seager struck out in his two at-bats. Although he's being brought along slowly, the expectation is Seager will be ready for Opening Day, or shortly thereafter.

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Aaron Hicks NYY • CF • 31
BA.248
R90
HR27
RBI79
SB11

Injury: Back

Status: Will miss Opening Day, entire opening series vs Orioles

March 17 update: Hicks will begin the season on the injured list. Hicks has been dealing with a lower back injury since early March. He received two cortisone shots this past week. Last month, Hicks signed a seven-year extension that will keep him under contract through the 2025 season. The Yankees appear to be choosing between carrying both Luke Voit and Greg Bird or subbing one out for Clint Frazier, who would make for a more natural Hicks stand-in.

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Dellin Betances NYY • RP • 68
ERA2.70
WHIP1.05
IP66.2
BB26
K115

Injury: Shoulder inflammation

Status: Will miss start of the season

March 19 update: Betances joins the growing list of Yankees to begin the season on the injured list. He's been shut down and prescribed anti-inflammatory medication. Betances recently complained of not being at full strength. He told the club that he felt like he couldn't fully extend while pitching. An MRI found right shoulder impingement, which explains his lack of velocity during Grapefruit League play. The right-handed setup man does not have a clear recovery timetable.

Injury: Strained rotator cuff

Status: Shut down for at least a month

March 22 update: Luzardo won't throw again for at least a month, perhaps longer. He's dealing with a strained rotator cuff. Based on manager Bob Melvin's comments, it seems likely Luzardo would have been strongly considered for a spot in the Opening Day rotation. 

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Corey Knebel MIL • RP • 46
ERA3.58
WHIP1.08
IP55.1
BB22
K88

Injury: UCL damage

Status: Will begin season on the IL

March 22 update: Knebel is seeking a second opinion on the damage he suffered on his UCL. It seems more likely than not that he's going to miss significant time, and perhaps the entire season -- these kind of issues tend to result in Tommy John surgery.

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Matt Carpenter STL • 3B • 13
BA.257
R111
HR36
RBI81
SB4

Injury: Back tightness

Status: Likely for Opening Day

March 22 update: Carpenter has been dealing with back issues. He expects to return to game action this weekend with an eye on making it into the Opening Day lineup.

Out for the 2019 season 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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