Dodgers Injury Update: Walker Buehler ‘Ahead Of Schedule’

The Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their starting rotation during the offseason by adding Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow and James Paxton, and internally they have also been preparing for Walker Buehler to return.

Buehler missed the entire 2023 season while recovering from the second Tommy John surgery of his career. Buehler initially hoped to join the Dodgers rotation late last year but shifted his focus to 2024 after making one rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The right-hander started throwing bullpen sessions before reporting to Camelback Ranch for Spring Training and offered an encouraging update on his progress when speaking with “Dodger Talk” host David Vassegh at DodgerFest, via AM 570 L.A. Sports:

“As of right now, I’m ahead of schedule. I’m throwing bullpens regularly, so the start and stop is probably the hardest thing on my elbow, and has been since my first surgery. Keep going and kind see where we’re at. I think there may be a little delay to me being in the rotation every spin. I want to throw meaningful innings at the end of the year, so we’re going to put ourselves in position to do that.”

Although Buehler has seemingly navigated his rehab process without issue, the Dodgers are in lockstep with prioritizing the postseason over Opening Day and the early months.

“I think throughout the offseason, talking with Walker, everything we have been mindful of is to make sure he is on the proper progression that keeps him sharp but ready to go down the stretch,” general manager Brandon Gomes explained.

Buehler last pitched in an MLB game on June 10, 2022. His rehab start for OKC last September consisted of two strikeouts in two hitless innings.

Dodgers ‘comfortable’ with Walker Buehler’s plan

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts further confirmed the plan is for Buehler to not be in the Opening Day rotation, but such a decision has not stemmed from a health-related issue.

“We all feel comfortable with that,” Roberts said of delaying Buehler’s 2024 season because of an innings limit. “The most important thing is he’s going to have innings and bullets through October. How we get there, obviously it’s going to be a late start to the season. We feel good about his health going forward though.”

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!