Walker Buehler's rehab start cut short due to new Dodgers injury issue

The Dodgers' ace just keeps getting bitten by the injury bug apparently.
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

One thing that the juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers have been eagerly awaiting has been the return of Walker Buehler. Ever since Buehler underwent his second Tommy John surgery back towards the end of the 2022 season, the Dodgers' rotation has missed him greatly, especially with Clayton Kershaw being out as much as he has been and Julio Urías now no longer with the team.

The problem has been that injury rehab timelines aren't linea,r and putting an exact return date for Buehler out there hasn't really been possible, especially when you consider that Buehler had a flexor tendor repair during the same surgery (again, his second TJS). There was an outside chance that he could have come back last year, but a minor rehab setback nixed those plans.

Still, the overwhelming consensus was that Buehler would be able to return to the mound very early in 2024, assuming the righty didn't have any more setbacks. Plus, he had already begun making rehab starts in the minors. Unfortunately, Buehler's bad luck continued during his latest rehab start as he took a line drive off his right hand and had to leave his rehab start early.

Walker Buehler suffers freak rehab setback, but there isn't cause for panic

There is some good news here. So far, there hasn't been any word that the injury was serious, and that removing him was more precautionary and happened because it freaking hurt, more than anything else. After all, he did finish pitching the rest of the inning. However, it does mean that Buehler will have to make at least one more rehab start before there is any hope he gets activated from the IL, as he was supposed to go 75-80 pitches on Friday and only threw 27 instead before he got bit by that liner. The buildup, if nothing else, will certainly be affected.

The Dodgers definitely need him back and in good form soon. While Yoshinobu Yamamoto and especially Tyler Glasnow have been holding down the fort in the rotation early in the season, Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller have struggled a bit. Adding another top-notch arm in Buehler would go a long way to putting LA's rotation issues behind them, and would give them some much needed depth the rest of the way.

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