MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has been diagnosed with mild herniation of a disk in his lower back, making it doubtful that the veteran will be ready for Opening Day. Ethier received an epidural injection and will be shut down from baseball activity for seven to 10 days.
Ethier, who turns 35 years old next month, missed almost all of the 2016 season with a broken leg. He was hoping to grab at least a part-time role in left field, but it appears that won’t be the case to start the season. Andrew Toles is the player most likely to see increased playing time in Ethier’s absence.
Ethier has a club option worth $17.5 million with a $2.5 million buyout for the 2018 season, which likely makes this season his last in L.A given his age and health issues.