SAN FRANCISCO ( Associated Press) – Los Angeles Dodgers ace Walker Buehler will not throw for six to eight weeks due to a flexor strain in his right elbow, making the most optimistic timetable for his return to a major league mound at the end of this season.
Buehler left on Friday night in San Francisco after four innings when his elbow began to bother him. After the game, Buehler said that his elbow sometimes hurt in recent years, and expressed concern.
Buehler was placed on a 15-day injured list on Saturday and flew to Los Angeles for an MRI. “As of now, yes,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said when asked if Buehler might pitch for Los Angeles again this season.
If Buehler resumes throwing in six weeks, he will need to build up arm strength and do bullpen and batting drills before potential minor league injury rehabilitation work.
Buehler, 27, underwent surgery on Tommy John in 2015, shortly after Los Angeles picked him from Vanderbilt with the 24th overall pick in the amateur draft. A two-time All-Star, Buehler is 6-3 and has a 4.02 ERA in 12 starts.
“He’s our opening day starter, so it’s a blow to lose him in any capacity,” said Roberts. “Hopefully, we’ll get him back as soon as possible.”
Left-armer Clayton Kershaw was active in the 15-day IL against San Francisco after missing a month with a back injury. He conceded two runs in four innings, working his 70-pitch boundary, in a 3–2 loss to the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers recalled right-hander Michael Grove from Triple-A Oklahoma City and selected lefty Justin Bruehl on the Pacific Coast League squad.
“When you lose one of the best pitchers in the game, it’s a big blow to somebody,” Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman said of Buehler’s absence.
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