Despite a recent sentiment that the initial estimate of two weeks for Mookie Betts to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup was not going to hold true, he appears to have turned a corner and could be activated off the 10-day injured list for the upcoming Colorado Rockies series.
Betts was on the field throwing at Dodger Stadium prior to Thursday’s matchup against the San Diego Padres, and he also took batting practice. Betts continued his pregame workout by fielding grounders at second base and taking fly balls in right field.
“Came out of it well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Betts’ work. “Took batting practice from one of our coaches, he’s going to do the velocity machine [Friday]. Played catch, took some grounders.
“Really, really productive day. I think he’s ahead of where I think all of us expected. What that means, I don’t know his time to return. But I’m encouraged that early next week is certainly a viable possibility.”
Betts sustained a fractured right rib as a result of colliding with Cody Bellinger on June 15, then was scratched from the lineup in each of the next two games. An MRI revealed the fracture, and the Dodgers put Betts on the injured list June 19.
“I feel sore, but you know it is what it is,” Betts said at the time. “Kind of cracked a rib, so you’re going to feel a certain way. After the play, really the next inning it started hurting. I thought it was just a little bruise or something.
“Decided to play through it and it just kind of got worse over the next couple of days.”
Betts will play through pain
Although the Dodgers may be a handful of days from welcoming Betts back to their lineup, he doesn’t figure to be 100% healthy just yet.
“It’s going to be per his tolerance,” Roberts said. “But from the doctors and trainers, it’s one of those you just got to kind of deal with the discomfort. But there’s nothing that should potentially make it worse.”
Betts could see time at second base upon initially returning, and potentially starts as the designated hitter as well but that is not a preference.
Are you following Dodger Blue on Instagram? It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!