The upcoming week for the Dodgers will not only have ramifications for their 2012 playoff hopes, but for their 2013 roster as well. Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to meet with Dr. Bryan Kelly on Tuesday in New York, and it sounds like bad news is expected.
Kershaw may need surgery to repair his right hip, and that procedure — again, if Kershaw needs it — is expected to keep him out for the start of next season, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
If Kershaw must undergo surgery to repair his ailing right hip, he isn't expected to be pitching in the major leagues until the middle of May, according to people familiar with his condition who were not authorized to speak publicly.
Kershaw's decision on whether to have an operation will be made after Kershaw receives a second opinion from Dr. Bryan Kelly on Tuesday in New York.
It's tough enough for the Dodgers to try to make up their one-game deficit while having to travel to play the teams with the two best records in the National League, as the Dodgers battle the Nationals and Reds this week. But to do so without Kershaw adds an extra layer of difficulty, not to mention possibly losing him for the first month or so of 2013.
But Kershaw isn't the only starting pitcher for whom this week will help determine their 2013 status.
Ted Lilly will have arthroscopic shoulder surgery on Friday in Los Angeles. If all goes as expected, Lilly will be throwing by January and be ready for the start of spring training. But that's if all goes as expected on Friday.
"We're not expecting any large repairs of any kind," said Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone, who has been quite busy this season. "Ideally it is a simple cleanup procedure. Obviously the doc won't know what he will or will not do until he gets inside the joint, but that's the plan as of now."
Chad Billingsley, meanwhile, is trying to avoid surgery in hopes that his two injections of platelet-rich plasma will heal the tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow. While Billingsley has been improving in resistance tests administered by the training staff, the true test won't come until he starts throwing again.
Billingsley is expected to begin a throwing program by next weekend in Cincinnati. If he does need surgery Billingsley would miss all of 2013.
Get ready for a rather important week for Dodgers pitchers.
Elbert's Season Done
Lost, but not forgotten, in the story by Hernandez is confirmation that relief pitcher Scott Elbert is out for the season. The left-hander continued to experience elbow pain after his simulated game on Friday. Elbert will have left elbow surgery on Wednesday, described as "clean up" procedure, and is expected to be ready at the start of spring training.