Dodgers Injury Update: Walker Buehler Potentially Returning After Next Rehab Start

The Los Angeles Dodgers are facing a sudden need for starting pitching, and may turn to Walker Buehler sooner than had recently been suggested.

Buehler began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on March 31 and has made three starts. However, his most recent outing lasted just two innings for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga because of being hit in the right hand by a comebacker.

Buehler fortunately avoided serious injury and is scheduled to resume his rehab assignment on Thursday, likely back with Oklahoma City Baseball Club.

“If all goes well, then there’s a real conversation if he were to join us or not,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Roberts had previously indicated Buehler would need to make a minimum of two more rehab starts because his outing on April 12 was unexpectedly shortened to just 27 pitches.

But that was before the Dodgers placed Bobby Miller on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. Miller’s IL stint was backdated to April 10, and he’s hopeful for a quick return due in part to an MRI not revealing any structural damage.

One key for Buehler in his upcoming start is going to be further stretching out with his pitch count. The goal heading into his game with the Quakes was 80 to 90 pitches.

Among the areas of emphasis for the Dodgers has been Buehler getting himself in position to be capable of providing length in a start and also ensuring he has feel for all pitches.

Whenever Buehler returns, it will mark his first time pitching for the Dodgers since June 10, 2022, when he was removed from a start against the San Francisco Giants because of right elbow discomfort that ultimately led to a right flexor tendon repair and second career Tommy John surgery.

Walker Buehler rehab assignment stats

In three rehab games thus far, Buehler has thrown a combined 10 innings while allowing five runs (four earned) and collecting eight strikeouts against three walks.

Buehler’s fastball velocity has been in the mid-90s for each of the starts.

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