Randy Messenger left tonight’s game against the Yomiuri Giants after a batted ball hit him near the right ankle. Shinnosuke Abe led off the seventh inning with a liner that hit Messenger in the right foot. Messenger was removed from the game and later taken to a hospital in Tokyo for tests.
[UPDATE 8/11 @ 8:58pm]
The Tigers announced earlier today that Messenger was diagnosed with a left fibula fracture. He was taken off the active roster on the same day. There is a chance he could end up missing the rest of the season.
[UPDATE 8/16 @ 10:22pm]
The Tigers announced that today that Messenger temporarily returned to the United States for a second opinion and treatment on his fractured fibula. There is no timetable for his return at this point in time, though he is expected to use the Naruohama facilities for rehab.
[UPDATE 8/26 @ 10:45am]
The media learned on August 25 that Messenger had surgery to treat his fractured fibula. He is expected to return to Japan soon to begin a rehab program. If he has a smooth and fast recovery, he might be able to pitch in the post-season (should the team make it that far).
Source: Nikkan Sports 8/26/2017
[UPDATE 8/27 @ 9:19pm]
Messenger returned to Japan on August 27. He is slated to begin a rehab program at the Naruohama facilities on August 29.
[UPDATE 8/29 @ 5:32pm]
Messenger started his rehab today at the Naruohama training facilities. He appeared on the field after 11:00pm and spent about ten minutes playing a light game of catch. He threw the ball fifty-four times and maxed out the distance at about thirty-five meters. He left the facilities after 1:00pm.
Before leaving, he spoke to reporters and said he decided to go under the knife after he was told it would take about three months for his leg to heal without surgery. Assuming no setbacks, he thinks he might be able to pitch in about two games before the end of the regular season.
[UPDATE 8/31 @ 2:33pm]
Messenger played catch at a distance of about fifty meters on August 31.
Source: Sanspo 9/1/2017
[UPDATE 9/11 @ 12:38am]
Messenger worked out at the Naruohama facilities on September 9 for the first time without a cast on his leg.
Source: Sanspo 9/10/2017
[UPDATE 9/12 @ 3:35pm]
Messenger could sit down with coaches on September 13 to discuss his progress. He has already started playing catch with cleats. The Tigers are beginning to consider the very real possibility that he might be ready to pitch before the end of the regular season.
[UPDATE 9/17 @ 10:39pm]
Messenger played catch for about ten minutes on September 16. He is currently waiting for the okay to place more weight on his right (back) leg. He is scheduled for an examination on September 20.
The two Chunichi games this weekend were rained out. Due to scheduling issues, the make-up games will be scheduled on or after October 5. The extended schedule could work to Messenger’s advantage: it will most likely give him at least one chance to pitch at the Ichi-gun level before the start of the post-season.