Dodgers’ Ethier Eyeing Early August Return

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier waits to hit during a spring training workout Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 in Glendale, Ariz. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: dodgers.0229.kjs — Photo by KEVIN SULLIVAN / Orange County Register — 2/28/16 The Los Angeles Dodgers. 2016 Dodgers Spring Training at Camelback Ranch Sunday February 28, 2016 in Glendale, Ariz. 2/28/16
(Photo Credit: Kevin Sullivan/OC Register)

While most of Andre Ethier‘s time on the disabled list has been relatively quiet in terms of news surrounding the healing of his cracked tibia, Dodgers‘ manager Dave Roberts gave the media a brief update on Wednesday which revealed an August 2 target date of returning to the bigs.

Roberts specifically pinpointed the second day of the month because the team is scheduled for an off day while traveling to Colorado that Monday. He also pointed out that Ethier is participating fully in light baseball activities daily, and will begin to ramp up the intensity in the following week.

“He’s doing some light jogging, some throwing and taking swings. He’s doing all that stuff so the next progression for him will be batting practice on the field,” Roberts said.

As far as details on a prospective rehab assignment, the Dodgers’ skipper indicated that Ethier’s stint would likely encompass a ten-day period with hopes of giving the 34-year-old somewhere around 25 plate appearances.

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.

“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,” Ethier explained back in late March.

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

In other injury news, staff ace Clayton Kershaw has begun exercising, and was spotted throwing a ball around in left field before Wednesday’s game — activities which happened to fall into place well ahead of schedule.

“Clayton has started his rehab as far as exercising, and he got clearance to play catch, which is exciting and encouraging for all of us,” Roberts said. “But we gotta keep a close eye on him because he’s gonna want to push it as hard as he possibly can.”

Roberts also hinted that lefty staring pitcher Brett Anderson is right on schedule after having had back surgery in early March, and could conceivably be ready to join the pitching staff sometime in the middle of August.



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