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Alex Wood to rest 4 weeks after MRI reveals elbow impingement

Harry How/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will be without pitcher Alex Wood for a little while, it seems, though the news could have been worse. Wood had an MRI exam in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning that revealed a posterior impingement in his left elbow that will require four weeks of rest, the team announced.

Wood will be reevaluated at that time, though given the time off and the likely rehab needed after the four weeks of rest it is increasingly likely that Wood won't be available to pitch for the Dodgers until after the All-Star break.

The Dodgers placed Wood on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, one day after he struck out seven in five innings of work in his start against the Cubs on Monday.

Wood originally felt soreness in his triceps on a swing while batting on May 15 against the Cardinals, then felt soreness again after his May 21 start in San Diego. The Dodgers pushed Wood back three days with that triceps soreness, meaning his Monday start was on eight days rest. When Wood felt soreness again on Tuesday, he was placed on the DL and sent back to Los Angeles, where he met with team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

This is Wood's first time on the disabled list in his career, though he has had Tommy John surgery before, as a senior in high school in 2009.

Not that there is ever a good time for an injury, but the timing of this seems especially cruel for Wood, who has been locked in for over a month, putting up a 2.80 ERA in his last six starts, with 50 strikeouts (a 35.2-percent strikeout rate) and eight walks in 35⅓ innings.

The aftermath of Wood's injury will put more strain on the Dodgers' rotation, which will need to rely on Mike Bolsinger and Julio Urias to hold down the fort, with Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy in various states of rehab, though their return times are measured in weeks, not days. Brett Anderson will begin a throwing program on Thursday as well, still nowhere close to a major league game.