Josh Hamilton is a helluva ballplayer. Alas, he spends too much time on the DL. This year, the team moved him from center to left field, with the hope that he’d be presented with fewer opportunities to dive for balls — and get hurt. Now, of course, he’s on the DL again because he broke a bone in his shoulder when he dove headfirst into home. The dude is incapable of loafing.
But the possibility exists that Hamilton’s injuries — at least this one — are part of the price he continues to pay for his much publicized past drug use. Here’s a study from a few years back. It found a lower bone density in people who had smoked meth. While Bobby Valentine is speculating about whether Hamilton’s drug use will affect his recovery time (because he can’t take palliative drugs), I’ve got a fellow who knows a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to the cause of the injury itself.
Dr. Richard D. Reitman is an orthopedic surgeon at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. He specializes in joint replacement surgeries. In an email, Reitman told me: “Substance abuse is a well known predisposing factor for osteoporosis. In particular, bone loss has been linked to recreational methamphetamine abuse in several published studies. Alcohol consumption has been similarly linked to bone loss as well. The World Health Organization defines osteoporosis as having bone mineral density lower that 2.5 standard deviations below normal, and this degree of bone loss is a strong predisposing factor to bone fracture.”
I didn’t want to hear that part about alcohol.