When Justin Turner broke his wrist, the Dodgers lost the lynchpin of their lineup. With a small sample size of regular season play in the books, the sum of all our fears has been confirmed: the team needs this man in the middle of the order. A small bit of positive news has been released in regards to a Turner return. Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports that Turner is getting closer to swinging a bat.
This seems to indicate that the recovery of the Dodger’s third baseman is coming along well. Turner remarked that when the injury first happened, this could have been anywhere from a four to ten week injury. It would seem that he’s trending towards the lower number. More detail on the situation:
“Literally, when it happened they were like, ‘It could be four weeks, it could be 10 weeks,'” Turner said. “There really is no timetable.”
Turner has talked with Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who dealt with a broken wrist last season. Freeman was sidelined for six weeks. He wore a cast for a month, unlike Turner, who has already begun drills designed to improve his range of motion. Turner indicated he would not swing until he felt his wrist could move comfortably.
“Again,” Turner said, “it’s going to come back to pain tolerance.”
Turner will spend the weekend with the team, and will travel to Phoenix for a series next week against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers have not determined if Turner will stay behind at Camelback Ranch for his rehab, or if he will travel with the big-league squad.
To say the Dodgers could use turner back in the three hole is an understatement. They opened the season with a pair of 1-0 losses to the rival Giants. The 18 innings of baseball without a run matches their second longest streak in franchise history to start a year. This doesn’t boil down to just not having Justin Turner. Even if they did score a bunch of runs over the next two games. However, a guy like that is often the glue that restores order. A veteran presence who has sustained success, not a young player who is still trying to find his footing. Without Turner penciled in the lineup card each night, the lineup simply doesn’t look that scary on paper.
It sounds like Turner is progressing well, and the extent of the injury wasn’t as bad as it could have been when he was plunked in that March 19th spring game. His return isn’t just important from a production standpoint – but the sooner he returns, the sooner he can begin to work out the kinks that are expected with a broken wrist. His return should be expected by May, and should have a calming effect on the rest of the members of the lineup. Remember, he was the guy who had the guts and tenacity to do this on the grandest stage:
Get well soon, Justin.
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