How did Jazz Chisholm’s back injury get to this point? A timeline of how it unfolded

David Santiago/dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Within a span of about two weeks, the feeling regarding Jazz Chisholm Jr.’s back injury went from optimistic to dreary.

On July 15, the Miami Marlins’ star second baseman was in the midst of his rehab progression. He was doing just about every form of baseball activity possible outside of playing in a live game game while working out at the Marlins’ training complex in Jupiter.

Now? It’s very possible he doesn’t play in another game this season. A CT scan result last week revealed Chisholm had a stress fracture in his lower back. The conservative timeline for his return would be six weeks, which points to early September.

But that’s assuming everything goes right and assuming the Marlins are still in the playoff picture when Chisholm is healthy. Miami enters Wednesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds with a 46-51 record, four-and-a-half games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League’s third and final wild card spot.

Despite not playing in close to a month and only playing in 60 games overall this season, Chisholm still leads the Marlins in home runs (14), RBI (45), runs scored (39) and triples (four).

“It’s incredibly unfortunate,” Marlins general manager Kim Ng said by phone Tuesday. “You feel for the player. He’s had a great impact on the team. It hurts. It hurts. Period.”

But how did Chisholm’s injury get to its current state?

Here’s the timeline, as provided by the Marlins:

Chisholm was removed from the Marlins’ 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 28 in the second inning. After getting an MRI, he was diagnosed with a right lower back strain that landed him on the injured list the next day. Chisholm at the time said he had been dealing with back issues for about a week, but the injury began in earnest on June 24 when he left a game against the New York Mets because of back spasms. Chisholm started and played all nine innings of Miami’s next game on June 25 — which was also Bahamian Heritage Night at loanDepot park — before sitting for two games and then exiting early on June 28.

Chisholm said he felt the back pain on check swings.

“It’s just any kind of movement right now,” Chisholm said then. “It’s very uncomfortable.”

As Chisholm began feeling relief from the pain, the Marlins started him on a rehab progression, adding additional baseball activities over time. Based on the Marlins’ injury updates at the beginning of each series, here is how things progressed:

July 1: He returned to South Florida to begin the rehab process in Jupiter.

July 5: He started his mobility work.

July 7: He participated in groundball drills, weight room exercises, core and mobility work. One day later, Chisholm was named the National League’s starting second baseman for the All-Star Game. Chisholm was hopeful at the time that he would be cleared to play in the Midsummer Classic but there was no guarantee of that at the time.

July 11: He began playing catch out to 90 feet.

July 15: He started his hitting progression, defense and running.

It was at this point where things became shaky.

“We got to the point where he started to sprint,” Ng said. “It was at that point where his back, he started to feel pain.”

On July 16, it was announced that Chisholm would not play in the All-Star Game. He did, however, still go out to Los Angeles, where he participated in the festivities surrounding the All-Star Game — including taking a round of batting practice during the workout session on July 18, which Ng said the Marlins cleared him to do —and get his injury further evaluated.

“At that point,” Ng said, “we decided we should get more testing, particularly when he was out in LA. He went to see an orthopedic spine specialist.”

The Marlins announced on July 21, shortly after Chisholm visited the spine specialist in Los Angeles, that Chisholm underwent a follow-up CT scan, which revealed the stress fracture.

“You feel bad,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s having a really good year, obviously made the All-Star team. You got a feeling something was wrong when he wasn’t able to get to that All-Star Game and be able to play because we knew it was something that he would have pushed himself to get to be able to play.”

So what’s next for Chisholm over this (at minimum) next month and a half? For now, he’s back in Jupiter, starting his rehab process over once again.

“We just take the steps forward to get him right,” Mattingly said, “and let that process take shape and go with it wherever it goes.”