NEW YORK -- Dodgers star outfielder Mookie Betts has landed on the injured list multiple times this season due to a nagging hip injury. On Friday, manager Dave Roberts gave some more clarity on exactly what Betts has been dealing with.
Betts has been unable to play at full speed over the last month and a half because he’s been nursing a bone spur in his right hip. The injury doesn’t affect Betts when swinging and his recent production at the plate would back that up, but he’s been unable to play the outfield or run the bases without feeling any pain.
After landing on the IL for the second time on Wednesday, Betts flew back to Los Angeles to visit a hip specialist. He received another injection on Thursday, which Roberts said helped alleviate some of the pain. There’s still no timetable for Betts' return.
“It’s a bone spur that is sort of tied to the hip and it’s like really internal. We don’t know how it came to be,” Roberts said. “Still obviously not doing anything as far as activity. I don’t know when it’s time to play and return, but I do know that the pain has subsided.”
While Roberts said Betts is feeling better after the second injection, the Dodgers and the outfielder understand that it’s just a short-term solution to the problem. The Dodgers and Betts haven’t gotten into talking about offseason surgery, but they’ll need to find ways to keep the outfielder on the field for the last six weeks of the regular season.
At this point, it’s just about how much pain Betts is able to tolerate. He wasn’t able to play through the pain after being a late scratch on Tuesday against the Phillies.
“I think that’s more individual based and where he was at,” Roberts said. “I think right now where we’re at, we’re trying to figure out what’s the best way to get him back with us and through the season, then kind of once we get to the offseason, we’ll kind of address that.”
While Betts continues to nurse his hip injury, the Dodgers are going to have to find ways to win without their star player. L.A. is certainly a much better team with Betts on the field, going 52-31 when he’s in the starting lineup. In his absence, the Dodgers are going to continue to rely on Billy McKinney and Cody Bellinger in right field.
“I talked to him over the last few days and he’s pulling hard for us and doing what he can to make sure he gets back on the field as soon as he can,” said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. “Until that time, we’re gonna have to step up and fill in for him and figure out how to win games.”
The Dodgers entered Friday’s game against the Mets trailing the Giants by five games in the National League West, their largest deficit since ending the 2012 season eight games behind San Francisco.