LOS ANGELES -- First baseman Max Muncy’s arm is healing slower than he’d hoped -- and as it turns out, the injury that kept him out of the postseason is a lot more serious than was previously reported.
Originally described as a dislocated left elbow, Muncy called the injury a “torn UCL” in an interview with Alanna Rizzo on MLB Network’s High Heat on Monday. The Dodgers have not confirmed that diagnosis.
“It’s a little slow. I’m not recovering as quick as I would like,” Muncy said. “But that’s what happens when you do some serious damage to your body.”
Muncy sustained the injury in the final game of the regular season when Brewers second baseman Jace Peterson, running to first base, collided with Muncy’s outstretched arm. Muncy fell to the ground in evident pain and shortly thereafter exited the game. He ended up missing the entirety of the Dodgers’ playoff run.
Throughout the postseason, though, Muncy and the Dodgers never ruled out the possibility of him returning should they advance to the next round. That became a non-issue following L.A.’s elimination in the National League Championship Series by the eventual world champion Braves. UCL tears that do not require surgery can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to heal, according to Johns Hopkins, indicating Muncy is already on the longer end of that spectrum.
“Torn UCL is a slow process,” said Muncy. “But we’re coming back, everything’s going according to plan, and thankfully, it is the offseason, so we can come back from that.”
Muncy led the Dodgers with 36 home runs in 2021 and was one of the club’s most consistent producers, posting a slash line of .249/.368/.527 with a 138 OPS+. He is expected to be the Dodgers’ primary first baseman in ‘22, the final year of a three-year, $26 million contract extension (though the team has an option for ‘23 as well).