Andre Ethier’s Potential Return Pushed Back

(Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

The Dodgers took another small dose of bad news on the injury front on Wednesday when the club learned that outfielder Andre Ethier‘s original timetable to return from a cracked tibia has essentially become null and void.

A CT scan taken towards the end of April encouraged doctors to allow Ethier to workout on an anti-gravity machine, however, the latest assessment still hasn’t warranted enough healing to permit Ethier to begin baseball activities.

Ethier initially broke the bone in a Cactus League game against Arizona in March when he he ripped a foul off the inside of his right shin.

The original estimate for the fracture to heal was set at a 10-14 weeks, with the tail end of the window having been set to end in the third week of June.

Since the onset of recovery, the Dodgers’ outfielder was doing everything possible to optimize the healing process and conceivably speed up his return to the team.

“It’s one where we can allow it to heal. That just takes some time and who knows how much time,” Ethier said in late March. “We’re doing everything we can. I’m wearing a bone stimulator 24/7 right now that I have tucked into my pants. I’m doing laser treatments, all kinds of other treatments they can come up with. I’m eating kale and chrysanthemums because they’re high in vitamin K. I heard that helps. We’re going to see.”

Before the injury, Ethier hit safely in nine of 10 spring training games, going 10-for-23 (.435) with a .652 OBP and a .517 slugging percentage. The 34-year old outfielder hit .294 during the 2015 regular season, the best clip since his 2008 season, and collected 54 RBIs and 13 home runs, both his highest since 2012.

In other injury news, the Dodgers placed left-handed pitcher Alex Wood on the 15-day disabled list with left posterior elbow soreness and recalled left-hander Julio Urias from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

Urias made his major league debut on Friday against the Mets and allowed three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings before being optioned back to Oklahoma City on Saturday. Urias has gone 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA in eight games (seven starts) with OKC and leads the Pacific Coast League in ERA (1.10), WHIP (0.78) and opponents’ batting average (.176), while striking out 44 against just eight walks in 41.0 innings.

Wood allowed two runs on seven hits in 5.0 innings in yesterday’s loss to the Cubs and is 1-4 with a 3.99 ERA in 10 starts this season. He is making his first trip to the disabled list in his four big league seasons.

It’s been speculated that Urias may slot into the rotation on Thursday, which would be righty Kenta Maeda‘s turn to pitch. Maeda’s next start may be pushed back several days after he took a line drive off his throwing hand Saturday in New York.

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