However, we unfortunately now know what Yankees general manager Brian Cashman meant when he referred to the injury as "significant." Chamberlain's open dislocation of his right ankle caused him to lose enough blood so as to make the injury life-threatening.
When Chamberlain was hurt, bone was sticking out of his ankle and he was bleeding profusely, a team source said. Paramedics were called and Chamberlain was taken by ambulance to the hospital. (via New York Daily News)
Earlier on Friday, Cashman said he didn't consider the injury career-threatening for Chamberlain.
"My heart and my gut tells me no, that's not the case. But at the same time, I don't want to spew information that I'm not really in a position to talk about. It's not my area of expertise, far from it, so I don't want to be in a misleading situation. I don't want to make mistakes on either side of it."
A doctor cited by the Daily News, Dr. Steven Weinfeld, who has not looked at Chamberlain, talked about how the injury could be a career-ending one.
"The dislocation means the ankle bone is forced out of its socket by some sort of injury and 'open' means the skin is ripped open, like with what Joe Theismann had with his injury," said Weinfeld, who has not treated Chamberlain but is an expert on such injuries. "This makes it a much more serious injury because the skin envelope has been violated. When the skin is intact, it's much easier to heal."
"This makes it not only a career-threatening injury, but a limb-threatening injury. There is a small percentage of people who end up with an amputation. There are a small percentage of people, if the skin envelope doesn't heal, they are susceptible to infection and that can lead to amputation. These days, that's less likely to happen because we have good antibiotics."
Weinfeld added, "I would be very surprised if he played this year. He won't be able to weight-bear for two or three months, let alone start baseball activities."