Walker Buehler injury update: Dodgers' right-hander to undergo season-ending elbow surgery

Walker Buehler injury update: Dodgers' right-hander to undergo season-ending elbow surgery

The Dodgers will be without one of their best starting pitchers for the remainder of the 2022 season.

The team announced on Monday Walker Buehler will be shut down for the remainder of the season after undergoing season-ending elbow surgery on Aug. 23.

Buehler has been out since June 10, but had been enjoying another solid season for the Dodgers. In 12 starts, spanning 65 innings of work, Buehler had a 4.02 ERA and a 3.81 FIP with 58 strikeouts, 17 walks and an opponents’ batting average of .263.

Buehler owns a 3.02 ERA in his career. He is coming off the best season of his career during which he pitched to a 2.47 ERA in 207.2 innings.

MORE: Why the Rangers fired Chris Woodward

Here’s the latest on Buehler’s injury.

What is Walker Buehler’s injury?

The Dodgers said Buehler has been out with a Grade 2 flexor strain in his right elbow since June 10, and the surgery will be to repair that elbow.

This isn’t the first time Buehler has had elbow surgery. After he was drafted by the Dodgers in 2015 out of Vanderbilt, Buehler underwent Tommy John surgery, and did not return to the mound until August 2016.

How long will Walker Buehler be out?

There is no timetable as of yet for when Buehler could return, outside of it being a season-ending injury.

With pitchers and catchers reporting in February, the Dodgers will certainly hope to have him return in time to be ready for spring training. But that will depend on his recovery in the coming months from the surgery.

MORE: 15 sports stars who played in the Little League World Series

Who will replace Walker Buehler in the rotation?

The Dodgers have plenty of pitching depth, but there’s no doubt the long-term absence of Buehler could now test that down the stretch of the season.

While Buehler has been out since June 10, Clayton Kershaw was placed on the injured list after leaving his Aug. 4 start early. Andrew Heaney was forced to leave Saturday’s game early after he was hit by a comebacker.

But the Dodgers should be getting a boost soon as Dustin May continues to near a return from Tommy John surgery. He’s made five starts in Triple-A and has been dominant, owning a 1.89 ERA with 33 strikeouts and only six walks in 19 innings. Los Angeles said he could be back as early as Aug. 19.

The rotation without Kershaw and Buehler would likely look something like Tyler Anderson, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, Ryan Pepiot and Heaney until May returns, assuming Heaney is able to make his next scheduled start. If he is not, Michael Grove, who made a spot start earlier in the season, could be promoted to take a spot start.