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Hyun-jin Ryu heads back to LA for shoulder exam

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Ryu is 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 11 walks and leads the Dodgers with 39 innings pitched. He last pitched on April 27 against the Rockies.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers starter Hyun-jin Ryu, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday with left shoulder inflammation, will head back to Los Angeles to be examined by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Monday, per multiple reports.

Don Mattingly told reporters on Friday that the team didn't order an MRI exam on Ryu's shoulder, but on Sunday said whether Ryu would need an MRI exam will be determined by Dr. ElAttrache, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

"Hopefully there's nothing major there," pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said on Sunday, per Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times. "Hopefully just this little time off will correct itself and get him back in the rotation. We'll find out in the next few days about that."

Ryu felt something in his shoulder after last Sunday's loss to the Rockies, in which he allowed six runs in five innings and averaged 89.74 mph on his fastball (per Brooks Baseball) compared to 91.21 mph the rest of the season.

Ryu was placed on the disabled list retroactive to April 28, meaning the earliest possible date he could be activated is May 13. Ryu on Friday told reporters he had the same injury in 2011 with the Hanwha Eagles in South Korea and that he was "back on track" within 10 days, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

But Daniel Brim at Dodgers Digest, with some help from Dan at My KBO, dug deeper into Ryu's 2011 injury and found the toll was much longer than 10 days:

The first thing to notice: The injury forced him to sit out for 19 days, not 10. Maybe he meant 10 in addition to his normal rest? This isn’t a big deal, since Ryu will be on DL for 15 days either way. The bigger issue is that it doesn’t look like Ryu returned at full strength. He returned in the bullpen. Between the injury on June 28th and his start on September 8th, Ryu only pitched 3-2/3 relief innings. He did not pitch at all between August 2nd and September 2nd after allowing three runs and getting one out.

We won't know the extent of Ryu's injury until further examination, but expecting a quick return to the mound might be more optimistic than realistic.