Hyun-Jin Ryu’s goal to pitch 200 innings this season got off to an ominous start during Spring Training as he dealt with mid-back tightness that forced him to miss workouts and thus momentarily falling behind schedule.
Ryu returned from the tightness to make his spring debut March 12 and he got a second start under his belt five days later. Ryu went three innings in his most recent outing and allowed two hits on three runs. His velocity was noticeably lower than in his first start, but neither he nor manager Don Mattingly expressed concern.
At the time, Ryu said his velocity has historically fluctuated and that his back was no longer an issue. While that may hold true, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced Friday he received an anti-inflammatory injection in his left shoulder and will be shut down for three days:
After consulting with Dr. ElAttrache, he elected to have an inflammation-reducing injection and will not throw for three days. (2/2)
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 20, 2015
According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Ryu said he didn’t not undergo an MRI and he expects to be recovered by the regular season:
Ryu said he did not get MRI for sore shoulder. Still expects to be ready for opening week.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 20, 2015
Health will be paramount for the Dodgers, whom Mattingly has stated is a team built on pitching. In particular, keeping the top-three starters healthy will be key when taking into account the injury history of Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy.
Ryu twice battled inflammation in his left shoulder last season, with the second time coming in the final month of the regular season. In both instances, he missed three weeks before returning to the mound.
However when Ryu had the issue in September, he had the benefit of being able to rest until he was needed for Game 3 of the National League Division Series. Ryu joins Brandon League and Joel Peralta as pitchers who have dealt with a shoulder issue this spring.
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