Dodgers Injury Update: Walker Buehler Making Progress Toward Rehab Assignment

The Los Angeles Dodgers got to witness encouraging developments with Shohei Ohtani and Walker Buehler on Monday, as both were active throwing prior to the final exhibition game at Dodger Stadium.

Ohtani played catch from flat ground for his first time throwing since last year’s right elbow surgery, and Buehler was on the mound to once again face hitters.

“He threw four innings, right around 60 pitches. I thought he threw the ball well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think the main thing for that is just to get him built up and keep facing hitters.”

That included being hit in the leg by a comebacker off of Gavin Lux’s bat, but Buehler shook it off and continued throwing.

While Monday’s live batting practice session was Buehler’s first of the spring at Dodger Stadium, he’d been pitching to hitters with some frequency in Arizona and also during the offseason.

Buehler last pitched for the Dodgers on June 10, 2022, when he exited the outing early due to experiencing right elbow discomfort. Buehler went on to have a second career Tommy John surgery two months later and has navigated a prolonged rehab process since.

The 29-year-old held out hope to pitch during the exhibition Freeway Series but that opportunity didn’t come to pass.

He nevertheless said fastball velocity got up to 97 mph when facing recently batters at Camelback Ranch and was optimistic over the progression. Buehler’s fastball velocity consistently hovered at 94 mph on Monday.

Next steps for Walker Buehler

What’s confirmed for Buehler is a bullpen session later this week, but following that is open ended.

“I know speaking for Walker, this process has been long. So to continue to do sim games has been kind of redundant. So I don’t know the next step of his progression, but the next step will be a bullpen in two days and we’ll see where we go from there,” Roberts said.

“He’s close (to beginning a rehab assignment). Whether it’s he throws his bullpen in a couple days and then goes out, or throws his bullpen and throws another live. I think we’ll know more once he throws that bullpen in two or three days.”

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