Ah, OK. Let's go through this. Because it's important:
-- Jordan Hicks leaves the mound with something wrong with the area around his elbow. He undergoes testing at the ballpark and passes the strength tests. The manager said cramp immediately after the game, while Hicks was still with the medical staff. Hicks later that same night said he then diagnosed with triceps tendinitis. That is, irritation around the triceps that includes swelling in the area. The Cardinals do not find any structural problems with the tests at the ballpark.
-- The team explains this, and yes, says that the are "encouraged" or "fortunate" or "optimistic." They are basing that on the tests (like strength tests) done at the ballpark.
-- Eyeballs and hands cannot see as deep into the elbow as an MRI. Period.
-- An MRI reading isn't always clean when there is welling and irritation in the area.
-- So, you see, not all of the tests are done at once, or are as reliable as the other.
-- Therefore, he is treated first for the inflammation and irritation so that it will calm, as reported in The Post-Dispatch this morning. Once it has, they sent him for an MRI. Again, as described in the paper. The MRI can then get a deeper, better, crisper look at the joint and there isn't the swelling or irritation to mislead the diagnosis. That's when they found the tear.
-- Not all tears are created equal. Some are complete and easy to diagnose and find and are painful and give themselves away. Some are partial, and there are even grades of partial. And it takes an MRI to help reveal that. And sometimes it takes two MRIs.
I get where you're coming from, and maybe there is a better way for us all to talk about injures. A strain is a tear for example. Anything -itis is inflammation and it could be hiding a worse injury. We tend to use all this jargon and it can lead to misunderstanding the real issue. I think if you look at the chain of events above and how injuries are diagnosed and reviewed and that does take time for obvious reasons, you'll see that the coverage in the paper did not mislead, did not leave you wondering, and rather offered up the facts as we had them and what was going on without wild speculation or assumptions.