Dodgers’ Ace Walker Buehler Will Undergo Surgery And Miss The Rest Of The 2022 Season

Walker Buehler will undergo surgery on his right elbow and as a result, miss the rest of the 2022 season as well as the playoffs, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced Monday before opening a four-game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

The surgery will take place Tuesday, Aug. 23 by Dr. Neal ElAttarche in Los Angeles.

“He just couldn’t get past the (discomfort),” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “There was some sharpness in his arm — specifically in the elbow — so we decided go back and get another MRI and at that point in time, Dr. ElAttrache decided he needed to have surgery.

“As a result, he’s obviously done for the rest of 2022 and until the surgery happens we have no timeline for his return.”

The right-hander appeared in just 12 games this season and hasn’t pitched since June 10, when he lasted only four innings in a 7-2 loss to the Giants. He was placed on the injured list the next day with a right flexor strain and later underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow.

At the time, the Dodgers were optimistic that Buehler could return in time for the stretch run but when Buehler felt pain while playing catch last week, a decision was made to take another look at his elbow.

“We took a chance to try to take time off, start a progression to get him back this year but as he started his progression, he just couldn’t get over the hump,” Roberts said. “We took a shot at it but now we have to go in.”

Even without Buehler, a two-time All-Star who finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting a year ago, the Dodgers’ starting rotation has more than held its own. Los Angeles’ starters carried an MLB-leading 2.74 ERA into the week while also leading all of baseball with fewest runs allowed (186) and topped all NL staffs with a .215 opponents’ batting average.

That rotation will get a boost later this week when Dustin May makes his long-awaited return after undergoing Tommy John surgery last May but with Clayton Kershaw currently on the IL and Tony Gonsolin well past his previous career-high in innings, the Dodgers were hoping to have a healthy Buehler in the fold for a deep October run.

“It’s certainly a blow,” Roberts said. “We’re better with Walker on our ballclub but there’s nothing we can do about it. I still believe we have enough guys to prevent runs to get through October but yeah, we wanted him to be a part of this.”