Ethier doubtful for Opening Day with back injury

Dodgers outfielder dealing with 'mild' disk herniation

March 21st, 2017
"I don't think we're there about even thinking of Opening Day," Dave Roberts said of Andre Ethier's status.

PHOENIX -- Dodgers outfielder has a "mild" disk herniation in his lower back and his status for Opening Day is doubtful.

Ethier -- who missed almost all of last season with a broken right leg -- underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed the injury. 

Ethier received an epidural injection to relieve the pain and will return to camp Thursday. Manager Dave Roberts said Ethier will be shut down from baseball activity for a week to 10 days and said it will be "tough" for him to be ready for Opening Day.

"I don't think we're there about even thinking of Opening Day," said Roberts. "It depends on how he responds the next week. We're definitely not closing that door, but it's going to be tough."

The Dodgers also initially called 's disk herniated last year "mild," but with a setback he was out for 2 1/2 months.

"As far as I understand it, it's not as severe," Roberts said of a comparison to Kershaw's injury. "We're trying to get past the idea of Opening Day as a drop-dead, hard deadline. The No. 1 thing is getting him back and healthy, whatever day that is, that's our goal."

Ethier was expected to make the Opening Day roster despite last year's injury. The latest setback will open a spot in the crowded outfield, with the most obvious beneficiary.

"Obviously, 'Dre was expected to be on our roster, so there's still opportunities," said Roberts.