Dodgers Injury Updates: Jimmy Nelson Making Progress, But Dustin May ‘Still Days Away’ From Pitching

While the Los Angeles Dodgers reported to Spring Training relatively healthy, a couple of notable pitchers were recently sidelined with minor injuries.

Dustin May is currently dealing with left side soreness, while Jimmy Nelson has battled a groin issue and back tightness. Both right-handers are vying for the fifth spot in the starting rotation this spring, but their respective setbacks aren’t considered major.

With full-squad workouts beginning this week, May and Nelson were still said to be a ways off from returning to the mound, via Ken Gurnick of

Wednesday was the fifth day Dustin May (left side muscle) and Jimmy Nelson (lower back) were limited. Roberts said both have improved but are still days away from getting back on the mound.

However, Nelson improved enough to throw a bullpen session Thursday:

Jimmy Nelson threw a bullpen session and appeared to be fine after missing five days with a tight groin and lower back.

— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 20, 2020

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously noted he isn’t concerned that May and Nelson will miss a significant amount of time. “Just the left side of Dustin May, he’s playing catch per his tolerance,” Roberts said.

“Jimmy Nelson, that little growing thing and lower back tightness, but outside of that he’s fine, and everyone else is a full go.”

May and Nelson are expected to factor in the Dodgers’ plans this season, whether it be in the starting rotation or bullpen.

May is coming off an excellent 2019 season that began with Double-A Tulsa and included time at Triple-A Oklahoma City before earning his first Major League promotion in August.

He pitched to a 2-3 record, 3.63 ERA, 2.90 FIP and 1.10 WHIP with 32 strikeouts against five walks in 34.2 innings with the Dodgers, receiving opportunities as both a starter and reliever.

Nelson signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers over the offseason and looks to bounce back from an injury-shortened 2019 campaign. He made just 10 appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers last season, going 0-2 with a 6.95 ERA, 5.80 FIP and 1.91 WHIP in 22 innings of work.

Prior to that, Nelson was sidelined for all of 2018 while recovering from right shoulder surgery. He enjoyed his best season in 2017, posting a 12-6 record and 3.49 ERA with 199 strikeouts en route to a ninth place finish in National League Cy Young Award voting.

Other candidates expected to get looks for the fifth spot in the starting rotation are Tony Gonsolin, Ross Stripling and Alex Wood. The rest of the unit is expected to consist of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, David Price and Julio Urias.

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