By STEVE MEGARGEE – AP Sportswriter
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler will undergo season-ending elbow surgery, a setback for the team with the majors’ best record.
The Dodgers announced On Monday before the start of their four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, Dr. Neal ElAttrache would perform the operation on August 23.
“It’s definitely a blow,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We are better with Walker on our ball club, but there is nothing we can do about it. I still believe we have enough guys to keep the races from going into October, but yeah, we wanted him to be part of that.”
Buehler hadn’t pitched in two months due to his injury. He underwent arthroscopic surgery in mid-June to remove bone spurs from his elbow.
“Then as it progressed, the pain didn’t subside,” Roberts said. “Dr. ElAttrache thought the best course of action was to go back and have surgery to really understand what the problem was and fix it. As a result, he’s obviously done for the rest of 2022. And until operation to occur, we do not have a timetable for his return.
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Los Angeles also has three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on the injured list with lower back pain, although he is expected to return this season.
The Dodgers hardly suffered from the absence of the two stars. With Tony Gonsolin, Tyler Anderson and Julio Urías entrenched in the rotation, LA is 19-4 since the All-Star break — including a 12-game winning streak that was snapped on Sunday.
The Dodgers received some good news about their pitching team on Monday. Dustin May, who is coming out of Tommy John surgery, is set to make his season debut Saturday against Miami.
May hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 1, 2021, when he injured his elbow during an appearance in Milwaukee. He is 6-5 with a 2.93 ERA in 31 career appearances, including 19 starts.
“All numbers and everything are normal,” May said. “I feel normal. I’m in a good place right now. That’s all I could ask for.
Buehler, a two-time All-Star, is 6-3 with a 4.02 ERA in 12 appearances this season. He last pitched on June 10 and left that game after four innings when his elbow started bothering him.
“We tried to take some time off, start a progression to get him back this year, but as he started his progression, he just couldn’t get over the difficulty,” Roberts said. “We tried, but now we have to come in.”
The Dodgers entered Monday at 79-34, 16 games ahead of San Diego in the NL West. But they will struggle to replace Buehler as they prepare for an almost certain playoff appearance.
Buehler, 28, has a career record of 46-16 with a 3.02 ERA. He went 16-4 with a 2.47 ERA last season and finished fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting.
“I spoke to Dustin today,” Roberts said. “He’s not a lifesaver. I just want him to come out and shoot well. He just has to do his job. When Clayton comes back, he has to do his job. I don’t see that as pressure. C “It’s just that we don’t have guys that we were hoping to be with us who played a big part in the things that we did, but there’s nothing we can do about it. The guys just have to do their job.
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