Dodgers News: Andre Ethier Increasing Activities But Unlikely To Play Pain Free In 2016
Dodgers News: Andre Ethier Out 10-14 Weeks With Tibia Fracture

While the majority of injury news and updates is generally positive for the Los Angeles Dodgers at this stage, that doesn’t necessarily apply to Andre Ethier. He began the season on the 60-day disabled list and has recovered slowly from the fractured right tibia sustained during Spring Training.

Ethier was initially diagnosed with a lower leg contusion before additional testing a couple of days later revealed the spiral fracture. He was given a 10-to-14 week timetable for recovery. On Friday, the results of a bone scan showed Ethier’s fracture has yet to fully heal.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said a return by Aug. 2 was plausible, though the rookie skipper has since backed off his projection and when the veteran outfielder will be reinstated from the DL is unknown.

While the latest update wasn’t the most encouraging, Roberts said Ethier’s level of activity will increase, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

“It’s healed enough where we feel Andre, to his tolerance, can continue to progress with baseball activity,” Roberts said. “I think at this point we’re going to monitor him but ramp him up and see where it takes us.”

Roberts went on to express confidence the fracture will heal but casted some doubt on whether Ethier will go without pain this season:

“I think it’ll be healed at some point,” Roberts said. “But if you’re looking at this season — to hope it’s going to be pain free is something that’s maybe a little too optimistic. Obviously Andre wants to be with us and he’s going to do everything he can to be back.”

Playing with pain wouldn’t be anything new for the 34-year-old. Ethier showed a high threshold in 2013 when he went through September and the postseason with a hairline fracture in his ankle.

Ethier’s slow climb up the mountain this year had him cleared for baseball activities earlier this month. He’s been able to play catch and hit off a tee, but is limited in running.

Prior to suffering the injury in late-March, Ethier was batting .435/.517/.652 (10-for-23) with one triple, one home run, four RBIs and five walks in Cactus League play. He hit .294/.366/.486 with 20 doubles, 14 home runs and 53 RBIs last season, and was a candidate to bat leadoff in 2016.