Platelet-rich plasma injections seem to be all the rage with the Dodgers these days, and left-handed relief pitcher Scott Elbert is the latest to undergo the procedure. Elbert flew to Los Angeles on Monday to have the treatment in his elbow after experiencing pain while throwing.
Elbert was originally slated for a return right around the first week of May, but that has been pushed back to a yet undetermined date.
"Scott hasn't thrown in a while. He was having some tenderness so he was shut down for quite a bit. His timetable has definitely been changing," said manager Don Mattingly. "It was a little bit like Carl (Crawford), just starting that program up but he wasn't quite ready yet. So we'll wait, PRP, and start back up."
Elbert called the PRP injection a precautionary move, much like Zack Greinke did when he had the injection on Mar. 11 after feeling discomfort in his elbow.
The offseason was a busy one for Elbert medically. He has arthroscopic surgery to clean up scar tissue in his left elbow on Sept. 19, but then after experiencing more pain he had another arthroscopic surgery on his elbow of Jan. 23. Elbert resumed throwing on Mar. 6 before getting shut down.
That followed a season that saw him hit the disabled list twice with elbow inflammation after the All-Star break.
"With Scotty it goes back past just the surgery this winter. He was on the DL late last year," Mattingly said. "We tried to bring him back and he flared back up. Really it's been a long time since this guy has thrown on any regular basis."
In theory, Elbert could be placed on the 60-day disabled list retroactive to Mar. 22, which would mean he couldn't return to the Dodgers until May 20. But given that's his likely timetable anyway, such a move would open up a 40-man roster spot for a potential non-roster invitee like Kevin Gregg or Alfredo Amezaga to make the opening day roster.
"It's been a long time since this guy has competed. It's hard to think it will just be a four-week thing and here we go. Not when everyone else had a normal spring and had seven weeks to get ready," Mattingly said. "We have to make sure he's pain free and go through all the testing before he starts back up."