PHOENIX — The Dodgers don’t yet have a timetable for the return outfielder Andre Ethier, but he is expected to miss at least the first few weeks of the regular season with a herniated disc in his back.
Ethier had a CT scan and X-rays on Tuesday, then met with back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins and the Dodgers medical staff on Saturday. Manager Dave Roberts said Ethier won’t resume baseball activities until the first week of April, essentially shut down a week longer than he already was.
“Him taking another week to let it subside, we’ll get a better idea of how aggressive we can be,” Roberts said. “As he stays off it and minimizes his activity, the scarring takes place. Once he’s asymptomatic, we can continue to be more aggressive.”
MRI results on Monday showed a mild disc herniation, and Ethier had an epidural shot to relieve the discomfort. He last played in a game on March 18.
“Whatever allows me to have a season that can help the team rather than be a hindrance, or be a guy who’s one foot in or one foot out,” Ethier said on Thursday. “I know the team has to weigh that also.”
Ethier exited a game early on March 6, feeling something in his back, then didn’t play again until March 17.
“We sat out for two weeks trying to see if we could rehab it from there,” Ether said. “It got better, but not to the point where it was drastically improved.”
This is the second straight year a spring injury suffered at Salt River Fields has impacted Ethier’s season. In 2016, Ethier fouled a ball off his right shin that fractured his tibia, and he missed 140 games.
“After last season I did all the steps to put myself in the best position physically right now,” Ethier said. “This kind of thing sneaks up on you.”