Dodgers Injury Update: Walker Buehler Starting Rehab Assignment

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The Los Angeles Dodgers revamped their starting rotation for the 2024 season by trading for Tyler Glasnow and signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but also planning on the returns of Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw.

A proverbial first step for Buehler is scheduled to take place after he spent much of the spring and this week throwing bullpen sessions and facing batters in simulated games.

“Walker is going to head out and pitch in Tacoma for our OKC team on Sunday,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Roberts initially mentioned the plan for Buehler was to pitch four or five innings in his start with Triple-A Oklahoma City. However, that has been revised to a range of 40 to 50 pitches.

Buehler last pitched for the Dodgers June 10, 2022, when he exited the outing early due to right elbow discomfort. He went on to have a second career Tommy John surgery two months later and has navigated a prolonged rehab process since.

Buehler hoped to return late in the 2023 season and began a rehab assignment with OKC but was shut down after just one start to focus on this year rather than rushing himself back onto the mound.

During the spring the Dodgers laid out a plan to delay Buehler’s 2024 start because of an innings limit and wanting to prioritize his availability for the postseason. Buehler worked on syncing his mechanics and had visions of getting into an exhibition Freeway Series game, but that never came to pass.

When will Walker Buehler return to Dodgers?

Initial indications were Buehler would not be activated off the 15-day injured list until some time in May or perhaps even June. However, Roberts revised that projection to note that Buehler was “coming sooner than we anticipated.”

The Dodgers have not decided how long Buehler will remain on his rehab assignment with the Oklahoma City Baseball Club, but allowed four starts was “reasonable.”

“It’s about building up and fine-tuning all of his pitch mix, so once he gets here, he can go six innings, he can recover well and he feels like he’s equipped to go out there and consistently get Major League hitters out,” Roberts explained.

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