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Jimmy Nelson reportedly returns to Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Jimmy Nelson is expected to miss most if not all of the 2022 season after elbow surgery, but the right-hander is back with the Dodgers, per folks on the scene at Camelback Ranch in Arizona.

The Dodgers have not yet announced the move. They would need to make a corresponding transaction to make room on the 40-man roster, but the rehabbing Nelson could be placed on the 60-day injured list and not count against the list.

When he was on the mound in 2021, Nelson was great, leading the Dodgers with a 1.86 ERA, 1.89 FIP, and 37.9-percent strikeout rate in his 28 games and 29 innings. Nelson had Tommy John surgery in early August, a procedure that also required right flexor tendon repair, ending his season.

It’s been an injury-plagued few years for Nelson, who has pitched 51 major league innings since the start of 2018.

Nelson during that time had shoulder surgery to repair a rotator cuff and partial labrum tear, and elbow effusion while with the Brewers. Signed with the Dodgers in 2020, Nelson suffered back and arm problems during spring training, then had his season wiped out before it started with back surgery in July.

Re-signed to a minor league contract in 2021, Nelson had a stellar spring and made the opening day roster.

“When you’re not grinding through injuries and pain, you can actually enjoy the game,” Nelson said during spring training. “It’s been a long time. I’m just trying to enjoy it every day.”

Before succumbing to surgery in August, Nelson also missed time last season with a right forearm strain (12 games) and left lumbar strain (14 games).

Nelson, who turns 33 next June, has a 4.12 ERA and 4.01 FIP in parts of seven major league seasons, with 622 strikeouts and 253 walks in 662⅓ innings in 147 games, including 108 starts.