Shelby Miller: Neck Injury ‘Worse Than We Thought’

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While the Los Angeles Dodgers are hopeful to reinstate Daniel Hudson and Julio Urías within a week’s time, they’re poised to be without Shelby Miller for potentially one month because of a neck injury.

The Dodgers placed Miller on the 15-day injured list June 21 with the designation of neck pain. Manager Dave Roberts suggested it was an older injury Miller had dealt with that resurfaced and said the right-hander would be shut down from throwing for an estimated two weeks.

“I’ve had neck stiffness in the past, like in Spring Training I missed a couple days from throwing. But this is a little bit more, I wouldn’t say severe, but worse than what that is,” Miller clarified.

He added pitching through the neck injury wasn’t comfortable and an MRI helped explain what was causing trouble. Miller is focused on eliminating inflammation in his neck but otherwise declined to provide specifics of what the MRI revealed.

“It’s a little worse than we thought, but we’ll just keep it at that,” Miller said.

While Miller and the Dodgers have more clarity on his injury, the root or cause of it remains unknown.

“I went on bereavement for three days, I got on a flight home from Philly to be with my wife. Drove out here and woke up the next day and it was tight,” Miller recalled. “It’s kind of like a weird thing.

“Nothing that I felt when I was throwing or anything. Just woke up one day and it was messed up. I did some running and stuff when I was back home, and then maybe getting in the car just threw something off. Just kind of one of those freak things.”

The day after the Dodgers activated Miller off the bereavement list, Roberts revealed he hadn’t been available for the June 14 game against the Chicago White Sox because of some neck trouble.

Miller wound up appearing June 15, when he completed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts in what also was his last time on the mound before being put on the IL. Overall in his first season with the Dodgers, Miller is 1-0 with one save, a 2.40 ERA, 4.51 FIP and 1.00 WHIP across 25 appearances.

Dodgers bullpen without Shelby Miller

Potentially related to Miller’s neck injury and also due to the emergence of Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan, the Dodgers appear to be planning on Michael Grove taking on a bullpen role.

Grove pitched two scoreless innings in relief on Friday night and next is due to pitch bulk innings on Wednesday.

As for Miller, he hopes to soon resume throwing. “I’m going to take off probably one more week and probably start throwing again Friday,” he said.

“I’m going to be going back to Phoenix to be at Camelback. Start throwing and then whatever steps we’ve got to take from there if I have to go on a rehab assignment, or do some innings there to get back with the team.”

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