The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Walker Buehler will undergo season-ending elbow surgery on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the operation, but no other details were provided.
Buehler previously had Tommy John surgery shortly after being selected by the 24th overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft.
Buehler was placed on the 15-day injured list June 11 due to a right flexor tendon strain. Facing a prolonged recovery, Buehler underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow. The operation was not expected to impact Buehler’s timeline.
Both he and the Dodgers maintained optimism a return in September was feasible, and that Buehler would have enough time to stretch out to a full starter’s workload by the postseason. He started a throwing program last month and had been making steady progress.
“Each day it’s been better. We’re kind of monitoring that progress on a daily basis,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently said.
“That said, we’re going to be smart about it. So to the extent that it continues to improve day over day over day, and as we get into a throwing progression, if the box keeps getting checked, then I feel like he can progress to a point of being a real weapon for us in September and building up into October.
“But each day we’re going to learn more as we go, and we’ll factor that in.”
Prior to his injury, Buehler went 6-3 with a 4.02 ERA, 3.81 FIP and 1.29 WHIP across 65 innings pitched over 12 starts this season.
How will Dodgers replace Walker Buehler?
Losing Buehler for the remainder of the season and playoffs places more of an emphasis on Clayton Kershaw and Dustin May remaining healthy when they both come off the IL.
May is expected to be activated during this weekend’s series against the Miami Marlins, and Kershaw likely won’t return until September.
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