Indians’ Cliff Lee May be Sidelined due to Stiff Neck
Posted Sep 30 2008 1:14am
BOSTON - Clifton Phifer "Cliff" Lee is a left-handed starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in Major League Baseball. Lee may not be playing on Sunday because of a pain in his neck, specifically a stiff neck. Lee ability to play on Sunday was already undecided, as the Indians are considering sitting him if the White Sox's playoff fate is determined by that regular-season finale. And now that Lee -- the likely American League Cy Young Award winner -- is dealing with a stiff neck, his chances of making the start have decreased even further.
Manager Eric Wedge didn't make Lee's neck condition out to be serious, describing it only as "a little stiff." But the Indians, obviously, wouldn't have much incentive to push Lee, who didn't throw his regularly scheduled bullpen session on Thursday. Wedge stated that Lee received treatment on Wednesday and they would see how he felt on Friday
Lee's stuff has lacked some of its luster his last three outings, in which he's gone 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA. The loss on Tuesday night at Fenway Park was his first since July 6. Before the neck stiffness was divulged by Wedge, Lee said that he would like to make Sunday's start.
"It's not my decision," Lee said. "My job is to pitch when they want me to pitch, and that's what I'll do. I definitely want to pitch every chance I get."
A Stiff Neck will prevent any player from putting their best ball forward; A stiff neck will cause decrease cervical range of motion, making it difficult for any movement. This soreness can be caused by sleeping incorrectly, keeping the head and neck in one position for a long time, trauma, or an accident. Even simple activities such as having poor posture while watching tv, or too aggressive exercise can cause neck pain. Having muscle spasms or neck tension can increase the symptoms of a stiff neck.
Doing neck exercises that involve stretching and strenghtening are important to prevent a stiff neck; Using ice can decrease pain and reduce inflammation. Using a natural pain relieving gel like BioFreeze can help with muscle spasm and tension. Finally, even massage therapy can be of benefit for a stiff neck. Sleeping on a good ergonomic cervical neck pillow will ensure that your head and neck will be in a proper position for sleeping.