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.
[UPDATE 9/20 @ 9:56pm]
Messenger was able to play catch at a distance of about forty meters on September 19. He will be re-examined at a hospital soon. He should be able to start throwing in the bullpen if there are no issues.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/20/2017
[UPDATE 9/21 @ 4:49pm]
Messenger is scheduled to toss a bullpen session today. He apparently received the green light after a check-up at the hospital on September 20.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/21/2017
[UPDATE 9/21 @ 5:14pm]
Messenger did some running, stretching, and playing catch before tossing a bullpen session today. He threw ten pitches to a standing catcher, then forty-four to a squatting catcher.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/21/2017
[UPDATE 9/23 @ 2:01am]
Messenger might be ready to pitch in an Ichi-gun game on either October 5 or 6. The season was extended to October 6 due to two rain outs earlier this month.
Messenger mixed in curveballs, forkballs, and sliders during his bullpen session on September 21.
[UPDATE 9/24 @ 3:52pm]
Messenger threw forty pitches in bullpen session on September 23. He is expected to toss one more session before he moves on to the next step.
Assuming no setbacks, he could pitch in a Ni-gun game against Hiroshima at Koshien on September 27.
[UPDATE 9/25 @ 10:52pm]
Messenger tossed a bullpen session in front of Tomoaki Kanemoto at Koshien Stadium on September 25. Kanemoto was impressed and told reporters he thought Messenger’s pitches were at about ninety percent.
Messenger might be ready to pitch in a Ni-gun rehab game against Hiroshima on September.
[UPDATE 9/27 @ 3:32pm]
Messenger started a Ni-gun game against Hiroshima earlier today. He tossed two shutout innings, threw thirty-seven pitches, allowed one hit, and topped out at 149km/h.
He gave up lead-off single in the first and two walks, but did not allow a run to score. He tired the side in order in the second inning.
[UPDATE 10/1 @ 2:14am]
Messenger is slated to start a practice game against Minoshima Baseball Club on October 1 at Naruohama. He is scheduled to pitch three to four innings.
Source: Sanspo 9/30/2017
[UPDATE 10/1 @ 11:31pm]
Messenger started a Ni-gun practice game against Minoshima Baseball Club today. He pitched five shutout innings, threw sixty-two pitches, allowed two hits, struck out four, and topped out at 151km/h.
Added additional performance information on 10/2 @ 5:35pm.
[UPDATE 10/3 @ 10:40pm]
Messenger joined the Ichi-gun team for workouts today. He could make an appearance against Chunichi at Koshien on October 6. If everything goes well, he could get a start during the First Stage of the Climax Series.