Dodgers Injury Updates: Joe Kelly timeline, Max Muncy takes step forward

Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers
Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Dodgers are missing not just one, two, or three relievers from their intended bullpen, but five, and most of them are big guns. Connor Brogdon only threw a single inning (during which he gave up two home runs) after he was traded to LA from Philly in April before going down with plantar fasciitis, so fans would be forgiven if they forgot he was even on the team. However, Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly, Ryan Brasier, and Michael Grove are different stories.

All four are on the 60-day IL, and Graterol hasn't even thrown a single pitch in the majors so far this season. Kelly's been out since May 6, his ERA slowly recovering from a blowup 2/3 innings in Korea. Before eventually going onto the 15- and then 60-day IL with a shoulder strain, he was also dealing with a potential "groin tweak" (Dave Roberts' words, not ours) that got him pulled on from an April 30 appearance.

We haven't gotten much word on Kelly's status since he went onto the IL, but now we finally have the loosest of timeline updates from Roberts, who said that the right-hander was likely to return "sometime after the All-Star break" after undergoing a rehab stint.

That isn't entirely optimistic, given the silence and the unspoken knowledge that his return would probably come after the All-Star break, but it's something.

Dodgers injury updates: Joe Kelly to return after the All-Star break, Max Muncy traveling with the team

Luckily, Dodgers position players have gotten away a little better in terms of injuries. Jason Heyward was absent for about a month and a half, but he was the only one on the shelf for a while. Next to fall was Max Muncy, who went onto the IL with an oblique strain on May 17. He was transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day IL on June 21 after his progress was halted multiple times with complications.

However, Muncy was present at Oracle Park this past weekend, spending some time in the batting cage and doing some on-field drills after already having progressed to hitting off a tee. Although he also won't be back until the All-Star break, he's making a lot of progress quickly after spending a lot of time making none at all.

Chris Taylor is getting more of a shot at third base after his bat has heated up, but the Dodgers lineup is definitely missing Muncy's power. Some tricky roster moves are inevitable in that nebulous period after the break when multiple players are expected to be back (we've got our fingers crossed for Mookie Betts and Yoshinobu Yamamoto), but Muncy getting closer to getting back onto the field is a very good thing.