Dodgers Injury Update: Alex Verdugo ‘Stagnant’ In Recovery From Back Trouble; Max Muncy Returning Friday Vs. Mets

The Los Angeles Dodgers expect to activate Rich Hill and Max Muncy this week, but the outlook for Alex Verdugo remains much more unclear after he suffered a setback while on rehab assignment.

Verdugo has been sidelined since Aug. 6 with a right oblique strain. He was placed on the 10-day injured list one day after being scratched from the lineup due to back soreness that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts initially did not believe would require a roster move.

Verdugo slowly began increasing the level of baseball activities in workouts before joining Rookie-level Ogden for a rehab assignment this week. He appeared in all of one game and had his rehab come to a halt because of back discomfort resurfacing.

“Alex is in Arizona right now. The oblique is in a good place, but there was that situation in Tampa where his back kind of flared up on him, so that’s what we’re dealing with right now,” Roberts reiterated.

“He’s still taking (dry) swings but as far as the progression, we’re kind of stagnant right now.”

Despite a lack of progress in the recovery, Roberts maintains a belief there is ample time for Verdugo to make a return this season. “But certainly the calendar is not stopping,” Roberts acknowledged.

“I don’t see him active on this road trip, so now to sort of do the math, the thing is we just have to get Alex back to health. Right now we’re just not there.”

Max Muncy to be activated Friday

Muncy again fielded ground balls at first base during batting practice at Dodger Stadium on Saturday and is due to return just over two weeks after sustaining a fractured right wrist when he was hit by a pitch Aug. 28.

“Max, every day feels better. Less discomfort, swelling has dissipated. Right now the plan is for him to be in the lineup on Friday in New York,” Roberts said. “That’s always contingent on how he’s feeling.

“He’s taking swings in the cage off pitchers, so the next big progression is to get him on the field for batting practice. He’s day-to-day and we’ll kind of go from there.”

Muncy estimated he would miss two weeks after the MRI confirmed he suffered a small fracture in his wrist. Should Muncy indeed be activated off the IL on Friday, he will have 14 games to find any sort of rhythm before the postseason begins.