Walker Buehler underwent arthroscopic surgery on Monday to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. The operation does not impact Buehler’s timeline for a return from a strained right flexor tendon that forced him to the 15-day injured list.
“It was something that I’ve dealt with for a long time, and given that rest and rehab was 10 to 12 weeks, and having the spur removed was 10 to 12 weeks, as a group we decided to just go ahead and get it done,” Buehler said of his elbow surgery.
“It’s something I was going to do in the offseason, probably we’ve discussed for the last three years to get those taken out, but ended every year healthy and kind of didn’t have the necessity to do it.
“Decided to be a little bit aggressive and go ahead and get that out of there. The timeline doesn’t really change a whole lot by doing that, and kind of kill two birds with one stone. So yeah, we’ll take six weeks, see where we’re at and then build up.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers remain optimistic Buehler will return this season, even if it’s not until some time in September. The 27-year-old shares a similar view, within reason.
“As confident as you can be, having them go in and cut you open,” answered Buehler when asked about how much belief he has in pitching again this year. I’ve been through the rehab process before with my Tommy John and came through it really, really good.
“So hoping for the same result this time, but it’s a tricky thing. You never really know what’s going to happen on the other side of these things, but I’m certainly hopeful and confident in our medical staff, Dr. (Neal) Elattrache and pitching coaches to get me back to where I need to be.”
Buehler has experience with flexor tendon strain
In addition to becoming a dominant pitcher after undergoing Tommy John surgery shortly after being drafted by the Dodgers, Buehler also has history with a flexor tendon injury.
“Obviously was hoping I hadn’t torn anything in the UCL, which luckily we didn’t, so it kind of is what I thought it was,” he said.
“In high school and college, I had elbow issues and I kind of know the difference somewhat. I thought I had something that I had previously, which is called a bone edema, which I have some of now, and it’s basically a bone bruise from stuff getting pulled.
“I’ve had a flexor strain before, so it’s stuff that I’ve kind of dealt with. … I had elbow issues both my senior year of high school and junior year of college.”
Buehler revealed the MRI showed he suffered a Grade 2 flexor tendon strain.
“Got it pretty good,” he said. “We’ll rest it, rehab it and figure it out from there.”
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