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Hill won't return to Dodgers until September

@kengurnick
July 3, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers management doesn’t expect injured pitcher Rich Hill to return until rosters expand Sept. 1, manager Dave Roberts confirmed on Wednesday. “It’s hard to imagine” Hill being back sooner, Roberts said after Hill was moved to the 60-day injured list to make room for the acquisition of

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers management doesn’t expect injured pitcher Rich Hill to return until rosters expand Sept. 1, manager Dave Roberts confirmed on Wednesday.

“It’s hard to imagine” Hill being back sooner, Roberts said after Hill was moved to the 60-day injured list to make room for the acquisition of relief pitcher Casey Sadler from Tampa Bay in a trade for Minor League pitcher Nathan Witt. Sadler, viewed as bullpen depth, was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Hill said he is halfway through a month without throwing after straining his left flexor muscle in a one-inning start on June 19. When he resumes throwing around July 17, he will need a month or more to rehab before he's ready for game action.

Hill said he has been pain-free since four days after he received the a PRP injection.

“It feels normal,” said Hill. “The healing process is still taking place. If you don’t follow the schedule, you run the risk of a setback.”

Hill said he intends to return as a starting pitcher, although going to the bullpen would accelerate his return.

Sadler, 28, has been shuttled to the Major Leagues five times this year with a 1.86 ERA in 19 1/3 innings. He was a 25th-round pick in 2010 from Western Oklahoma. Witt, a 17th-round Draft pick in 2017 from Michigan State, was 1-2 with a 5.32 ERA at Class A Great Lakes.

Turner still hurting

Wednesday was Justin Turner Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium, but the third baseman missed a second straight start with either a bruised left elbow and/or a sore left wrist. Roberts said Turner would be available to pinch-hit. The manager said the same thing on Tuesday, but after the game said Turner actually had been unavailable.

“You don’t always want to show your whole hand,” said Roberts. “Hopefully get him in there tomorrow to start, and run him out there the next few days.”

Other injury updates

Injured players David Freese, Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock continued their rehabs and closed in on their return. Roberts reiterated that Freese could be activated Friday or Saturday without a Minor League assignment.

Roberts said activating Seager before the All-Star break and without a rehab assignment was possible but unlikely. He said a meeting would be held to determine the next course of action. Pollock will need a rehab stint and won’t return until after the break.

Seager and Pollock have been using virtual-reality headsets to simulate batting during their rehabs.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.