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The Boston Red Sox finally received some answers on the issues that have impacted David Price’s pitching hand this season. All things considered, it’s very good news. Though the diagnosis is one that’s left some people confused and reporters asking a different line of questions.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced Wednesday that Price is dealing with a “mild case” of carpal tunnel syndrome. That definitely explains the numbness in Price’s left hand, which forced him to be scratched from this week’s scheduled start against the Yankees. What people are wondering now is how exactly Price developed carpal tunnel.
One line of thinking is that the Red Sox, and Price in particular, have grown obsessed with the video game ‘Fortnite.’ We’ve even seen the team incorporate elements of Fortnite into their celebrations. But it’s the hours the players have spent playing the game that have people wondering if it could be a factor in Price’s condition.
One reporter even brought the possibility up to Cora before Wednesday’s game.
Cora said David Price has been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. When a reporter suggested Price is a big gamer and plays a lot of Fortnite – potential cause for this injury – Cora said he’d speak to him about it when he rejoins team. The perils of modern baseball. #RedSox
— David Lennon (@DPLennon) May 9, 2018
It’s easy to understand how one might jump to this conclusion as well. Carpal tunnel syndrome is pretty uncommon for baseball players, and it’s caused by repeated motions. That includes typing, and at least some forms of video gaming. Price doesn’t do as much of the former after cutting back on his Twitter usage, but he’s admittedly all about video gaming and especially Fortnite.
“We play together at the field, at the hotel on the road or at home whenever we get home from the field,” Price told the Associated Press last month. “It’s something that’s kind of taken over.”
So is Fortnite really behind the odd injury?
According to Dr. Jessica Flynn, a sports medicine doctor who provides injury analysis at Boston Sports Journal and commentary on NBC Sports Boston, it’s not very likely.
I hate to Debbie Downer the story, but Price's "mild carpal tunnel syndrome" is not likely caused by playing Fortnite. The position of the wrist doesn't tend to effect the carpal tunnel. U CAN get inflammation of the thumb tendons, though. "Gamer's thumb" @TonyMassarotti @trenni
— DocFlynn (@jessdeede) May 9, 2018
Though that doesn’t completely dismiss it, we’ll trust that the doctor has a better understanding of this than we do.
For what it’s worth, Cora doesn’t see the video gaming as an issue either.
“From what I know, David has been playing video games his whole life,” Cora said. “It seems like Fortnite now is the one everybody’s playing, but last year I saw a lot of guys playing FIFA. That’s all I know. There’s a lot of teams playing Fortnite. But we’ll talk about it.”
For now, Red Sox fans don’t have the answers they’re looking for. But you can bet they’ll keep asking questions until Price is back on the field and pitching well.
The 32-year-old left-hander has a 5.11 ERA through seven starts this season, and has yet to find consistent success since joining the Red Sox in 2016. Price is due $30 million this season, and will be owed another $127 million over the next four seasons in Boston. So you can understand why patience is wearing thin in Boston.
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