Dodgers News: Andre Ethier To Begin Non-Weight-Barring Activity
Dodgers Video: Andre Ethier Hits 2-run Home Run Vs. White Sox
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ glut of outfielders was missing their longest-tenured player to start the 2016 season as Andre Ethier began the year on the disabled list. Ethier sustained a fractured right tibia on March 18, though the fracture wasn’t discovered until four days later.

Ethier was initially diagnosed with a lower leg contusion, and was sent for further examination after failing to show any signs of improvement. He was given a 10-to-14 week timetable for recovery.

Ethier underwent a CT scan on his right leg to gauge any progress. The results are encouraging enough that the veteran left fielder will begin cardiovascular activity in the coming days. “It’s gotten better,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“Right now, we’re going to start getting some non-weight-bearing activity. We have this Ultra G machine. He’s not going to be bearing any weight. It’s a step in the right direction for him.”

Until joining the Dodgers on the current homestand, Ethier remained in Arizona to continue rehabbing at the club’s Camelback Ranch Spring Training facility. The 34 year old is using crutches to walk, but is able to stand on his own.

Ethier was batting .435/.517/.652 (10-for-23) with one triple, one home run, four RBIs and five walks at the time of injury. He was named the Dodgers’ starting left fielder during Spring Training, and was identified as a candidate to bat leadoff when the club faced a right-handed starter.

On April 21, Ethier earned a no-trade clause as a 10-and-5 player. He’s coming a season in which he batted .294/.366/.486 with 20 doubles, 14 home runs, 53 RBIs, a .366 wOBA and 137 wRC+.

Ethier is owed $18 million this season and $17.5 million in 2017. His contract includes a $17.5 million club option in 2018 with a $2.5 million buyout. Ethier’s expected return date remains some point in mid-to-late June.