5 MLB Injury Storylines to Watch This Week (8/22-8/28)
Walker Buehler’s Unknown Elbow Surgery
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler will go under the knife on Tuesday for an unspecified surgery to fix an unknown issue in his ailing right elbow that will shelve him for an undetermined period of time.
In all the unknowns, there is one certainty: Buehler won’t return to the Dodgers this season.
Most of the other questions hinge on whether or not his UCL, which he had reconstructed in 2015, is damaged or not.
Will Illness Sideline Shohei Ohtani?
The day after fouling a ball off the tip of right foot, Shohei Ohtani left the Los Angeles Angels’ loss on Sunday in the fourth inning with a stomach illness.
Despite suffering a groin strain, taking a comebacker to the foot, and dealing with multiple other ailments, Ohtani has yet to miss a start as a pitcher and has only sat for four games as a DH.
The Angels start a four-game series with the Rays in Tampa Bay on Monday.
Bryce Harper To Begin Rehab Assignment
Philadelphia Phillies rightfielder Bryce Harper will reportedly begin a rehab assignment in Triple-A Lehigh-Valley sometime this week with a goal of getting back to the big leagues by Sept. 1.
Harper has been out since suffering a fractured left thumb on June 25 and said his thumb feels “85-90%” with mobility being the biggest final hurdle.
Houston Survives Major Injury Scares
The AL-best Houston Astros lost Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, José Altuve, Aledmys Díaz, and Mauricio Dubon to minor injuries over the last week, although Bregman, Alvarez, and Dubon all returned for Sunday’s win.
Alvarez was under robust surveillance since he was taken to the hospital on Friday with shortness of breath, while Bregman was hit by a pitch on his left wrist and Dubon suffered an elbow contusion.
Altuve was held out of Sunday’s contest with a sore shoulder and Díaz will miss at least the next week with a groin strain.
Soroka Trending Towards September Return
The Atlanta Braves’ Mike Soroka made another rehab start in Triple-A over the weekend as he slowly makes his way back after tearing his right Achilles twice in the last two years.
Soroka made the All-Star team as a 21-year-old in 2019, then suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in August 2020, and it ruptured again in June 2021.
The right-hander is reportedly targeting a return sometime in September so he will be conditioned for the playoffs.