Dodgers' latest update on Max Muncy will leave LA fans gravely concerned

Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers
Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

With Jason Heyward back in the lineup, the only Dodgers position player left on the extensive IL (we won't talk about the pitchers, but it's bleak) is Max Muncy. Muncy went onto the 10-day IL with an oblique strain on May 17 and, in the way that most injuries have been playing themselves out for the Dodgers this year, his road back hasn't been without complications.

Miguel Vargas, who was making Triple-A hitters look like they belonged back in Rookie ball after failing to make the 26-man roster on Opening Day, was called up to take his spot. Vargas has held things down well enough — he's hitting .231, but has a .901 OPS thanks to a home run and two doubles over five games — but the lineup is still sorely missing Muncy's power.

Dave Roberts told The Los Angeles Times' Jack Harris that Muncy was on a "slow program" but has been shut down from baseball activities after moving to Camelback Ranch to recover before presumably making a few rehab starts in the minors. Vague as ever, Roberts said Muncy should resume "soon," but otherwise didn't provide much of a timeline.

Dave Roberts provided a vague, worrisome update on Max Muncy's return from injury

Muncy was in a slump before he got hurt, but playing through discomfort could've been a factor. He hit .040 in his last seven games before officially going onto the IL. He went 7-40 through May, but he also had a three-homer night on May 4 that reminded fans why he's so valuable to the lineup, even if his batting average might suggest otherwise.

The Dodgers are still third in home runs behind the Orioles and Yankees, but some of their biggest bats faltered through a five-game losing streak at the hands of the Diamondbacks and Reds. Will Smith is getting hot (he had a two-homer, three-hit night in LA's last game against the Mets on Wednesday) and Shohei Ohtani broke his home run-less streak (extending back to May 17) on Wednesday, but Muncy's nine homers on the season still place him third of LA's batters despite the slugger missing nearly two weeks.

LA got back to their winning ways with a decisive sweep of the Mets this week, but the bats need to get moving in a more consistent way. Having Muncy back will help with that, but he's still without a clear path to return.