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Ryu accepts May is likely return to rotation

MLB.com @kengurnick

PHOENIX -- Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu said he accepts the fact that he won't return to Major League action from shoulder surgery until May.

Ryu, who several weeks ago insisted that Opening Day was still a realistic goal, has adjusted that view after spending a week in training camp and falling behind his healthy teammates. Ryu has been throwing bullpen sessions every fourth day instead of every other day, like the rest of the pitchers.

PHOENIX -- Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu said he accepts the fact that he won't return to Major League action from shoulder surgery until May.

Ryu, who several weeks ago insisted that Opening Day was still a realistic goal, has adjusted that view after spending a week in training camp and falling behind his healthy teammates. Ryu has been throwing bullpen sessions every fourth day instead of every other day, like the rest of the pitchers.

"I've just barely thrown a [bullpen session] with changeups," Ryu said. "I totally accept that. It is what it is."

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Ryu said he has lowered his goals from making 30 starts to 20 starts, and from 200 innings to 150 innings.

"With a surgery like that, I wouldn't expect to be ready," Ryu said. "My main goal is to be ready sometime in May and make 20 starts and around 150 innings. That would be successful."

Manager Dave Roberts said the club intentionally mapped out a conservative path for Ryu's return, focusing on having him healthy for the second half of the season and into the postseason rather than targeting Opening Day. That's why, after losing Zack Greinke, the Dodgers signed Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda to go with Kershaw, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood when the season opens.

"He's behind, and we said from the beginning we had no date and we weren't going to rush him," Roberts said. "At this point, he's behind and he completely understands where we want to be. To expect 32 starts is highly unrealistic.

"On the back end, as an organization looking to play through October, there's really no reason to rush him."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Hyun-Jin Ryu