Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Says Andre Ethier Could Return In Early August
Dodgers News: Andre Ethier Suffers Lower Leg Contusion
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The momentum that Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier carried into Spring Training came to a grinding halt after he fouled a ball off his right shin. Initially diagnosed as a lower leg contusion, Ethier in actuality sustained a fractured right tibia.

The injury called for a 10-14 week recovery from March 22, and he began the season on the 60-day disabled. Ethier’s progress has been slower than expected and he only recently was cleared to begin jogging and taking swings.

“The next progression will be batting practice on the field,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Wednesday. “The leg feels considerably better.”

The rookie manager previously indicated Ethier, who is currently with the club after rehabbing at Camelback Ranch, was scheduled for another bone scan in the near future. However, that’s now on hold.

“We’re going to wait, we don’t feel there’s a need right now. There’s no scheduled date,” Roberts said. “As he continues to ramp up his activity, then that will make the medical staff decision to do that scan.”

Ethier’s injury not only stripped the Dodgers of their starting left fielder but also a potential leadoff batter. Howie Kendrick and Trayce Thompson have largely combined to fill the void in left field, while Chase Utley has cemented himself atop the lineup.

While the club has managed without the veteran, Ethier’s return would further add to the depth in the outfield. Although it may be difficult to fathom given the limitations still in place, him getting activated from the DL could happen within the next four weeks.

“I think Andre, as far as in talking to him and obviously things can go a different way, but August 2 or beginning of August realistic,” Roberts said. Placing more of a on the timeline, the manager added Ethier will be expected to complete a rehab stint.

“It’s going to be like a 10-day Minor League stint for him to get 20-25 at-bats,” Roberts said. Los Angeles will continue to take a cautious approach with the recovery, in large part because the healing of a bone is simply a process that can’t be rushed. Ethier could regress should he make a premature return.

He earned a no-trade clause by virtue of becoming a 10-and-5 player on April 21. In order to earn the right to veto a trade, a player must reach 10 years of Major League service time, including the last five with the same club.

Ethier hit .294/.366/.486 with 20 doubles, 14 home runs, 53 RBIs, a .366 wOBA and 137 wRC+ in 142 games last season.