Fantasy owners have to take some chances on draft day; it's simply unrealistic to expect guarantees for every player you pick. But from the dozens of players who grace the list of annual injury risks, whom can you trust? Here's a closer look at 15 notable names coming off of serious injuries, with the type of injury, either the date they had surgery or last appeared in a game, and their progress.
Rocco Baldelli, OF, Devil Rays -- knee surgery (October 2004), Tommy John surgery (June 2005): He served as the designated hitter and No. 2 hitter in Tampa Bay's exhibition-season opener on Thursday, going 1-for-3 with a double and run scored. Baldelli probably won't hit that high in the order all year, but if he does, it'll be a fantasy boost, and if he can return to center field before Opening Day, then it'll make him a safer selection. As things stand, his knee problems could limit his stolen-base potential, and his elbow injury could hinder his offensive potential. Baldelli might not truly break out until 2007.
Barry Bonds, OF, Giants -- knee (October 2005): He actually finished the 2005 season healthy, but Bonds will be an extreme injury risk for the remainder of his career. Rumors already have him considering retirement at season's end, and he'll be used at designated hitter for much of the spring to preserve his legs. It appears that Bonds will be healthy enough to recapture much of the form that made him a top fantasy pick for most of his career, but at age 41, expect him to take a slight step backward statistically and be lifted from more games early for pinch runners and defensive replacements.