Los Angeles Dodgers ace Walker Buehler underwent Tommy John and flexor tendon repair surgery on August 23, 2022.
The surgery took him out for the remainder of last season but he was expected to return at some point in 2023.
That was the hope at least, and for a large portion of 2023, that was actually the plan.
Buehler even made rehab appearances at Triple-A and looked close to a return.
The plans changed, though.
The team announced on Friday that Buehler will not pitch for the Dodgers this season.
Dodgers insider Fabian Ardaya posted, via Twitter, Buehler’s statement explaining the decision.
The hope is that Walker Buehler is ready to start the 2024 season.
Buehler’s statement: pic.twitter.com/CLkedHQrhm
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 8, 2023
He said that while his goal was to return to the mound in 2023, he talked with his doctors, the organization, and his family and the conclusion was that the best course of action was to wait until next season.
On Sunday, the 29-year-old threw two perfect innings with two strikeouts in his first rehab start in Triple-A.
It’s certainly a bit odd, since he was so close, but there aren’t reports of an injury or a setback of any kind.
The timing is not the best, since the Dodgers are without Dustin May (injured) and Julio Urias (on administrative leave).
The good news is that Buehler, who boasts a 3.02 career ERA, should be able to complete a normal offseason and spring training, which bodes well for his 2024 prospects.
Their rotation depth has been tested this year, but so far the team hasn’t missed Buehler that much if we take a look at the standings in the NL West.
The Dodgers lead their division with a 13-game cushion.NEXT: Dodgers Make Official Decision On Walker Buehler