Los Angeles Dodgers injuries have been a prevailing theme this season and in some cases, like with Walker Buehler, that also dates back to last year.
Buehler had surgery last August to repair the flexor tendon in his right elbow in addition to requiring a second Tommy John. Prior to having the operation, the Dodgers placed Buehler on the 15-day injured list June 11 because of a right flexor tendon strain.
At the time of landing on the IL, the Dodgers held out hope Buehler would return at some point during the 2022 season. Instead, he’s working to get back into the Dodgers rotation by the postseason this year.
Buehler was at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, throwing from flat ground several hours ahead of traveling with the Dodgers to San Diego for the start of their road trip. Buehler is scheduled to throw a bullpen session at Petco Park on Friday.
“He’s in a good spot. Chirpy as always,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s going to throw a bullpen, get to Arizona and I’m sure we’ll see him there and he’ll continue to build up. He’s doing well. … He’s in good spirits. He was happy to get here and see his teammates.
“I can’t wait to get him back here. I’m still standing by the early part of September.”
Buehler set a goal of returning to the Dodgers by September 1, which Roberts has maintained was more aggressive than a rough timeline the Dodgers had in mind. If the right-hander is to hit his target date, a rehab assignment would need to begin this month.
“He is on the verge,” Roberts said of Buehler potentially joining a Minor League affiliate. “‘Verge’ is still vague, but certainly if we’re talking about early September (for a return), August has to be in play.
“So he’s on the verge of going out. I just don’t know when that is.”
While Buehler is multiple weeks from returning, J.D. Martinez could be back in the Dodgers lineup on Saturday.
The series opener against the Padres is going to be Martinez’s fifth consecutive game missed due to a left groin/adductor injury. Martinez went through a workout Thursday that closely resembled his normal pregame routine and should next participate in a simulated game.
“J.D. looked good,” Roberts said. “I think the next test is getting hot, cooling down to then get back and ready to play a game. He’s going to try to ramp back up here in the next hour to see how his body responds, which will be telling.
“[Friday], the plan is for us to get him some live in San Diego and then be in the lineup on Saturday and Sunday, and not have him in there on Monday.”
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