Justin Turner missed a ninth consecutive game when the Los Angeles Dodgers fell the Tampa Bay Rays in extra innings, and with Thursday’s off day now has not played in 12 days as he continues to recover from a sprained left ankle.
Turner sustained in the injury during the series opener against the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 6, and was removed early the following night. Turner’s streak of games missed then began with the series finale.
He was initially expected back in the lineup when the Dodgers began their road trip last week, but was scratched due to lingering soreness. Turner wound up missing all three games at Camden Yards and was eventually ruled out for the New York Mets.
After an X-ray was inconclusive, an MRI last week confirmed Turner was only dealing with a mild ankle sprain and he was considered day-to-day. With his ankle taped, Turner completed multiple drills with Dodgers trainers monitoring.
Turner is testing his ankle. pic.twitter.com/nAOWcBU6YV
— Dodger Blue (@DodgerBlue1958) September 18, 2019
The work consisted of some agility drills and running in a straight line. “It felt good,” Turner told DodgerBlue.com. A conceivable return may not come to fruition until the hurdle of running bases is cleared. Turner is expected to do more running Thursday.
“Today is better than it was yesterday,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “But I don’t see him available tonight. Come Friday, we’ll just kind of see where he’s at. We’ve taken this much time, so when he does come back I just really want to be confident he can sustain it.”
Roberts dismissed any concern with the length of Turner’s recovery, though said he was “surprised” by it. Nevertheless, the Dodgers remain committed to however long Turner may need to make a full recovery.
“J.T. wants to be back out there but I still feel there’s plenty of time for him to get at-bats to get ready for the postseason,” Roberts said. “We’ll kind of take it day to day.”
The injury came at a particularly inopportune time for Turner, who set a career high with 10 home runs in August. Since Aug. 1, he is hitting .302/.364/.621 with four doubles, 11 home runs and 21 RBI in 31 games (30 starts).
As the Dodgers come out of their off day, they will have nine games remaining. Another day off follows this weekend’s three-game series with the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers then play six consecutive games split over series with the San Diego Padres and Giants.