Adrian Gonzalez played into his 14th Major League season before landing on the disabled list. On Tuesday, he was put back on the DL for a second time in the past seven weeks. Dating back to Spring Training the veteran first baseman was hampered by forearm soreness and a bulging disc in his back.
Playing through the injuries, particularly the chronic disc issue ultimately proved to be too difficult of a task. Gonzalez was removed from Sunday’s game, again because of back trouble. He was sent for an MRI on Monday, with the results examined by Dr. Robert Watkins.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the initial expectation is Gonzalez will not require surgery:
“It’s not something where right now we know that surgery is needed,” Roberts said. “A lot of it is just wear and tear from his workload over the years. So now with potential rest or an (epidural) injection, it’s managing it per his tolerance.”
The 35-year-old is expected to seek a second opinion, and that point a timetable will likely be formulated:
“I think right now we’re just going to wait for that second opinion and figure out what’s best for Adrian,” Roberts said. “Can I see it happening (before the All-Star break)? Yes. Is it probable? I don’t want to put Adrian or us in a corner. I’m hopeful.”
Gonzalez received an epidural in May 2016 to treat back pain. He returned from a few missed games and swung the bat to improved results. Upon coming off the disabled list earlier this season, Gonzalez said he needed to iron out what had become bad mechanics as a result of playing injured.
The Dodgers intended to slow play Gonzalez’s first recovery process, but Andrew Toles’ season-ending ACL injury accelerated that plan. Joc Pederson found himself in the same position as he was reinstated from the seven-day concussion disabled list ahead of schedule.
Los Angeles presumably will allow for Gonzalez to this time go through a more prolonged recovery. Clayton Kershaw missed two and a half months last season with a similar injury, and Andre Ethier has been sidelined due to a what was described as a mild herniated disc.