Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke has not played since injuring his back on April 9 during a game against the San Francisco Giants. That back injury forced the Dodgers to place Van Slyke on the disabled list, and that’s where he currently resides.
With Van Slyke due to come off of the disabled list in the next few days, one might be assuming that the team is ready for him to come back and that he’s actually close to coming back. Except, nope. Not yet. At least not until his back is fully healed and the team feels comfortable putting him back out there again without risking further damage.
In subsequent examinations, Roberts explained, the medical staff determined that Van Slyke could subject his back to further damage by returning too soon.
Therein lies the issue. There’s zero need to put Van Slyke back out on the field unless there is a minimal chance he can re-injure his back again. The team is getting along just fine without him, so they don’t need to just rush him back. After all, Van Slyke normally played against lefties, and his replacement in left field, Kiké Hernandez, is crushing them.
The Dodgers are praying that the back injury to Van Slyke doesn’t get any worse and that he can return sometime soon, but rushing him would be the wrong move. Especially in a season where a lot of players are already on the disabled list. There’s still five months to go, and there’s no reason to rush Van Slyke back. Let him take his time.