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Shawn Tolleson injury: Dodgers RHP to have back surgery, out 3-5 months

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If Tolleson doesn't return this season, he will be the fourth Dodgers pitcher to face at least two batters in a season and not record an out, and the first since Cal McLish in 1946.

USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have suffered another blow to their pitching staff, as relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson will undergo surgery later Thursday to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. The right-hander is expected to miss three to five months.

The procedure is scheduled to take place on Thursday in Los Angeles and will be performed by Dr. Robert Watkins.

Tolleson was placed on the disabled list on Apr. 15 with a lower back strain, an injury not believed to be serious at first. Tolleson was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on Apr. 12, one day after Zack Greinke broke his collarbone in San Diego. Tolleson pitched in one game, on Apr. 12 in Arizona, and walked both batters he faced, allowing two inherited runners to score in a 3-0 loss to the Diamondbacks.

"It was kind of tight all day, and tight when I was warming up. I wasn't worried about it when I was pitching, I was just trying to throw strikes," Tolleson said when he was placed on the DL. "But when I came out of the game it just really tightened up on me."

Tolleson couldn't sleep that night because of pain in his back, and told trainers the next morning.

"I was kind of pushing for consent from the doctor just to kind of manage it and go out there and pitch," Tolleson said at the time. "But he was concerned it may get worse and they may have to operate."

Tolleson received an epidural on Apr. 15 and was shut down from pitching for a week. Obviously, things didn't progress as he had hoped.