PHOENIX — MRI results showed a mild disc herniation in Andre Ethier’s back, and the Dodgers outfielder will be shut down for at least a week, manager Dave Roberts said on Tuesday.
"As far as a timetable, we really don't have one,” Roberts said. “I just know there will be a week to 10 days to let it calm down, and let that epidural take, and we'll reevaluate then.”
Ethier will stay home on Tuesday and Wednesday, then return to Camelback Ranch on Thursday. He had an epidural after the MRI on Monday, and told the training staff he felt considerably better on Tuesday morning.
This basically eliminates Ethier from the opening day roster, though Roberts wouldn’t officially rule that out on Tuesday. Part of his hesitance was noting that opening day was just one of 183 days during the regular season. An active roster will change dozens of times throughout the season.
Still, come April 3, there is little chance Ethier will be starting in left field.
"We're really trying to get past the idea of opening day as a drop dead date,” Roberts said. “The number one thing is we have to get him back healthy and feeling good. Whenever that is — if it's prior to opening day or not — that's our goal.
Ethier didn’t play in a game for 11 days before returning on Friday night, then after playing Friday and Saturday he was scratched from Sunday’s contest after feeling something while loosening up for the game.
On Monday, both Ethier and Roberts downplayed the injury, saying Ethier would play if this were the regular season.
"We're just trying to get our hands around it, and making me more comfortable on consecutive days,” Ethier said on Monday.
For what it’s worth, Roberts did say the reports he got from the team training staff were that Ethier’s herniated disc was less severe than the one suffered by Clayton Kershaw, who missed 10 weeks in 2016.
Andrew Toles starts in left field for the Dodgers against the Brewers on Tuesday.
"There are a lot of guys in camp, and we're evaluating every day,” Roberts said. “I don't want to name specific names, but there's an opportunity.”