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Dodgers: Why Joe Kelly Did Not Want the Team to Release the News of His Injury in 2020

Doc explains that Kelly preferred to keep it private for a reason.



The health of Joe Kelly is something that Dodgers fans have not been privy to over the last couple of years. Anytime he’s had to miss any sort of time, the team has chosen to use a vague description with his injury designation. Dave Roberts citing his full “bodyitis” last year comes to mind. 

But Kelly recently made an appearance on Boston radio to talk about an injury sustained last year. It’s apparently why Kelly has not been able to join the Dodgers yet and why he was not ready for Spring Training. Kelly described a cyst in his arm that limited his muscle usage to 50 percent. Despite the severity, the media never learned of the issue in 2020. 

According to Dave Roberts, the Dodgers decision to not reveal the nature of his injury because of Kelly himself. Doc said that Joe asked the team to keep it between them out of a concern that others might believe he blamed his performance on the injury. 

We were aware. It’s something that Joe very prideful doesn’t make excuses and we talked about it, and he just wanted to keep it quiet. We weren’t too concerned as far as the short or the long-term. It’s something that he didn’t want to make an excuse for his performance last year, and so thought that it would come out as such…it’s not something that we were trying to conceal. 

It’s not characteristic of the Dodgers to keep something that severe under wraps for so long. They’re generally pretty quiet about medical concerns until they are confirmed, but something like this has not happened in recent history. 

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It’s also not clear why Kelly chose to reveal the injury now.  Perhaps the Dodgers reliever is feeling back at 100 percent and wants people to know that. Regardless, he’s throwing live games and should rejoin the team sometime early this month.

We’re just glad to hear that he’s healthy and ready to roll.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Kelly has been pretty much a non-factor since signing. I will be relieved when his contact ends after this year.

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