(Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
On a day when bad news from the injury department seemingly rolled in waves, manager Dave Roberts admitted before Wednesday’s game that lower back surgery isn’t being ruled out for Dodgers‘ ace Clayton Kershaw.
Initially, the team believed that surgery wouldn’t be necessary for the six-time All-Star, however, after being fast-tracked through numerous baseball activities and a 60-pitch simulated game last weekend, Roberts acknowledged that season-ending back surgery for Kershaw is more of a possibility now than it was before the simulated session.
“I think that with the way it flared up, it’s more of an indication that surgery is more of a possibility obviously with the way the back responded. But we’re still hopeful that he will be back,” Roberts explained. “When you’re talking about the back, that’s always an option. But we’re certainly hopeful that Clayton will be back, obviously.”
The latest news mentioning possible surgery came one day after the Dodgers’ skipper told reporters that Kershaw was being shut down from baseball activities until all his pain completely subsided.
While Roberts indicated that the club is hopeful the three-time Cy Young winner will return at some point this season, he wasn’t making any promises.
“He’s disappointed because he knows he can help us,” Roberts added. “But his focus is on getting back this year.”
Kershaw’s last start was against the Pirates back on June 26, and he was subsequently placed on the disabled list on July 1 after being diagnosed with the disc herniation in his lower back.
In other injury news, the Dodgers released information clarifying that pitcher Alex Wood underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow which will keep him from pitching for an additional eight weeks.
Roberts told the press Wednesday afternoon that Wood had the operation to clean out some loose bodies in his elbow.
Dr. David Altchek administered the procedure in New York. The team said Wood will slowly ease his way into baseball activities over the next few days.
Roberts stated that Wood could be a candidate to join the bullpen sometime in September.
The 25-year-old lefty hasn’t pitched since May 30 because of the elbow problem. He’s currently on the Dodgers’ 60-day disabled list after an initial MRI found an impingement.
Wood is 1-4 with a 3.99 ERA and a 3.27 FIP in 10 starts this season. He’s 27-30 with a 3.38 ERA in 108 major league games over five years in the bigs.
And as if the news surrounding Kershaw and Wood weren’t enough, the club announced that reliever Chris Hatcher was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained oblique, just one day after divulging the placement of both Hyun-jin Ryu and Casey Fien on the disabled list with elbow issues.
Hatcher, 31, has gone 5-4 with a 5.53 ERA and a 5.22 FIP in 37 relief appearances for the Dodgers this season. He’s the 22nd different Dodger to be placed on the DL this year, and brings the current disabled list count back to double digits, with the team now having a total of ten players on the shelf.