San Diego Padres injury news: Should there be concern about Joe Musgrove's elbow?

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

For the early part of the 2023 MLB season, San Diego Padres fans kept a close eye on Joe Musgrove's toe. Now it sounds like the fan base will have to move their attention from his toe to his elbow.

According to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune, Musgrove has been dealing with bursitis in his right elbow for much of the season, even wearing a compression sleeve to help prevent any swelling or further issues. Ironically, Acee reports that the elbow issue could have resulted from "aggressive treatment" Musgrove underwent this spring to speed along the healing process for his fractured left big toe.

"I had some elbow issues early in spring, possibly from the hyperbaric (chamber),” Musgrove told Acee. “Went to Mexico, and it blew up in Mexico, just really swollen. Since then it has been manageable, but it seems like the elevation and pressurized areas are causing more and more trouble.”

Musgrove did not make the trip to Denver over the past weekend for a series against the Colorado Rockies. With him not scheduled to start against the Rockies, Padres manager Bob Melvin told reporters it was a chance for Musgrove to get a few days off.

"We kept him back. He's had a lot going on," Melvin said of Musgrove after Saturday's win in Denver. "You know, from the start of the year, his shoulder and all that sort of thing, we just kept him out of the altitude. It was only three games, so we kept him at home."

However, it now appears the elevation in Denver is an issue. That could be good and bad news with the Padres still scheduled to play one more series at Coors Field this season, set for July 31-August 2. However, the Padres have one less series in Denver this year than in recent seasons thanks to MLB's new scheduling format.

Should San Diego Padres fans be concerned about Joe Musgrove's elbow?

It is certainly something to keep an eye on, especially since altitude affecting the elbow includes any plane rides the Padres take this season. However, Musgrove certainly looked strong in his outing on Monday night against Cleveland, proving that he has been managing the issue effectively.

Elbow issues are never a good sign for a pitcher. However, if Musgrove has been dealing with it for most of the season and has still been effective in nine starts, the news may be worrisome, but not necessarily a reason to push the panic button ... yet.