Dodgers News: Trayce Thompson Eyeing March Return From Back Injury
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Of the trio of prospects acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the December 2015, three-team trade, Frankie Montas was expected to make an impact with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. However, that turned out to be Trayce Thompson.

Montas underwent rib resection surgery last February, then was diagnosed with a broken rib in June. He wound up being packaged in a trade with the Oakland Athletics prior to the non-waiver deadline.

Micah Johnson appeared in seven games over two spurts with the Dodgers, but no longer is part of the organization. He was designated for assignment to clear room for Kenley Jansen on the 40-man roster, then got traded to the Atlanta Braves.

An injury to Andre Ethier, coupled with a strong showing from Thompson in throughout Spring Training, resulted in the dynamic outfielder making the Dodgers Opening Day roster.

Thompson played his way into regular playing time before a back injury derailed his season. Initially diagnosed as lower back irritation, it was discovered in August that Thompson had multiple fractures in his back.

He last appeared in a game on July 10. Months into the recovery process, the 25-year-old recently began baseball activities, per Ken Gurnick of

“I’m almost there,” he said. “I’ve been swinging and throwing, and just ran the other day. I’m getting there, trying to take it slow; I don’t want any more setbacks.”

Although he’s eager to return by March for the start of Cactus League games, Thompson is mindful of the importance to ultimately get healthy for the regular season:

“The target we’re looking at is early March and I think it’s realistic, but I have to pace myself,” he said. “If I’m not 100 percent then, it’s not necessarily a terrible thing. I feel like I have a lot to catch up on. I have to keep in mind the big picture with a season to play. I want all the at-bats I can get, but Day One Opening Day is the goal.”

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently highlighted the club’s cautious approach with Thompson’s rehab, noting the focus is on getting him healthy for the regular season, not Spring Training.

Thompson hit .225/.302/.436 with 11 doubles, 13 home runs, 32 RBI, a .318 wOBA and 100 wRC+ in 80 games. He was particularly effective during May, batting .270/.352/.603 with six home runs and 14 RBI in 21 games (18 starts), leading the Dodgers in several offensive categories during that span.

Thompson logged time in center field (32 games; 26 starts), right field (28;22) and left field (24;13).