Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler, who had Tommy John surgery last August, took a big step in his rehab on Wednesday when he played catch for the first time since the operation. It was just the first step of many on Buehler’s road back to the big leagues, but it’s an important one.
Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts talked with the media on Thursday morning about Buehler’s rehab and how the throwing session went.
“It was good. Walker said it went well. He got out to 60 feet. So it’s a good step in the right direction. It’s gonna be a long process for Walker, but to have him around, talking to our young players, being around the veteran guys, it’s good to have Walker. So he’s in as good a headspace as he could possibly be in with regards to where he’s at, so we’ll just kind of take it week to week, month to month, and see where we’re at.”
Roberts was also asked if it’s too soon to project a return date for Buehler.
“It is, it is. I think this process, coming back, there’s so many peaks and valleys, and for anyone to guesstimate, I think it’s unfair to Walker, putting expectations right now.”
Roberts said he knew Buehler was throwing for the first time on Wednesday, but he doesn’t know exactly what the throwing program will entail.
“For me, it’s just more on the relationship part of Walker than the parts of his rehab right now, for me.”
Buehler finished fourth in the 2021 National League Cy Young Award voting, but he struggled to remain consistent in 2022 before the elbow injury ended his season. He didn’t pitch after June 10, but it wasn’t until more than two months later than he had Tommy John after a setback in his recovery.
Buehler has held out hope of pitching for LA late in the 2023 season, but as Roberts said, it’s impossible to know at this stage in his rehab.
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