Dodgers Injury Update: Dave Roberts Hopeful Jason Heyward Will Return Once Eligible

Jason Heyward had a resurgent season with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023 and was expected to once again be a key contributor this year. However, the veteran outfielder has been limited thus far due to lower back tightness that first surfaced during the exhibition Freeway Series.

Heyward missed multiple games over the first week of the regular season and was placed on the 10-day injured list April 3.

Heyward could potentially be activated off the IL at the end of next week if all he needs is the minimum amount of time.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hopes that is the case but did not give an exact timeline for when Heyward might return to the team, via SportsNet LA:

“I hope so. With what I was told, is they were going to give him three days of no activity and then start ramping it up. So I don’t know if he’ll be available on that 11th day or not. Obviously, when he’s ready to go and ready to play, he’ll be activated. I know having him here, guys like it and he gets to come home.

“They’ve got a little outing after the game. So yeah, still good to have him (around the team), but I don’t know when his return is.”

Heyward previously met with the Dodgers’ spine surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins, and had scans taken of his back. The results came back negative, ruling out a more significant injury.

Prior to landing on the IL, Heyward recorded just three hits and two RBI in 14 at-bats across four games. He batted .269/.340/.473 with 23 doubles, 15 home runs, 40 RBI, 56 runs scored in 124 games (98 starts) last year.

The 34-year-old’s bounce-back performance was rewarded with a one-year, $9 million contract for this season.

Dodgers’ plans without Jason Heyward

With Heyward sidelined, the Dodgers have shifted Teoscar Hernández to his preferred position in right field for the time being. Once Heyward returns, Hernández will presumably move back to left field, with right field going back to a platoon situation.

In terms of the roster spot, the Dodgers claimed Taylor Trammell off waivers and activated him when Heyward was put on the injured list.

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