GLENDALE, Ariz – Add another name to the ongoing list of injuries that have struck the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason.
Andre Ethier, the Dodgers perennial outfielder for the last ten years, is expected to be out for the next 10-14 weeks after a CT scan on his right shin revealed a fractured right tibia on Tuesday.
Ethier suffered the injury last week during a spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 33-year-old Phoenix-native hit a foul ball of his right leg, something that happens to ballplayers countless times.
"It was a freak incident," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I must have fouled hundreds of balls off my leg. In my experience it's usually a contusion that you have to get through, and that’s what we were thinking. It's frustrating."
Roberts mentioned that Ethier was wearing two different shin guards at the time of the injury, and that both pads allowed only a three-inch gap where the ball could have hit in order to cause the injury. Unfortunately, that's exactly where the ball hit.
Due to the common occurrence of the incident, initial x-rays came back negative, but Ethier reported pain and discomfort when he tried to put weight on his right leg, and knew something wasn't right.
"He wasn't comfortable putting his weight on it, so we did a CT scan," said team president Andrew Friedman. "It was the CT scan that revealed it."
Ethier is not expected back in the Dodgers lineup until June at the earliest, and joins a long list of players who will be unavailable to the Dodgers at the start of the season. Brett Anderson (back), Corey Seager (knee), Frankie Montas (rib), Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder), Brandon McCarthy (Tommy John), Justin Turner (knee), Mike Bolsinger (oblique), Yasmani Grandal (shoulder) and Brandon Beachy (elbow) have all been hurt this spring.
Ethier is coming off his best offensive season in 2015, where he hit .294 with 14 home runs. He was expected to be the starting left fielder on Opening Day, but that position will most likely be platooned by Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke until he returns.
Los Angeles battled injuries last season, but so did the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants. Both those teams got better this offseason and are poised to knock the Dodgers off their spot atop the NL West for the past three seasons.
"Nobody is going to feel sorry for us," Friedman concluded.
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Initial X-Rays were negative, but a follow up CT scan showed the fracture. No surgery will be needed. Expected recovery time is 10-14 weeks.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 22, 2016