Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Set to Take Huge Step in Tommy John Rehab

As you probably know by this point, it’s been an uncharacteristically rocky season for the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation in 2023.

Most notably, they’ve been hit hard by injuries.

Clayton Kershaw remains on the injured list with shoulder soreness and fellow left-hander Julio Urias was hampered by a nagging hamstring strain before making his return last month. Additionally, hard-throwing righty Dustin May re-injured his elbow and will remain out for the foreseeable future.

On a positive note, Walker Buehler has been progressing in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, and the latest update is the best one yet.

Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes said that the right-hander is set to face hitters in Arizona this week, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

“That’s the plan,” Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes said. ‘We know he’s itching to come back. We just keep saying the same thing, ‘Walker – we’d love to have you back. But we’re not going to do anything to threaten long-term stuff for you. If you’re feeling good and Dr. (Neal) ElAttrache (who performed his surgery last July) feels good with where you’re at then we’ll keep progressing.’”

The news that Buehler is slated to take another big step in his rehab is big news for a Dodger rotation in need of some stability.

The now 29-year-old established himself as one of the better starting pitchers in the sport in his last full season, posting a 2.47 ERA with a career high 212 strikeouts on his way to earning both an All-Star selection and finishing fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting in 2021.

Buehler had set a goal to make his return to the Dodgers on September 1, and so far he looks on track to potentially return in the regular season’s final month.

Although this hasn’t been set yet, it’s figured that the pitcher will go on a rehab assignment before making his big league return.

And provided that this week and a potential rehab assignment goes as well as his process has so far, Buehler may just be able to take the mound at Dodger Stadium for the stretch run of the season and what the team hopes will be a long playoff run.

Photo Credit: The Arizona Republic

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Matt Wagner

Matt Wagner was born and raised in southern California, and he lived there before moving to Colorado and getting his B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2022. He relocated back to southern California in 2023 and is looking forward to covering the Dodgers again here at Dodgers Nation. Some of his past work is in Bleacher Report, Dodgers Tailgate, and, most recently, Colorado Buffaloes Wire. Aside from writing, you can probably catch him petting the nearest dog or eating some good Mexican food.

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