Reports: Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu might need season-ending surgery

Reports: Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu might need season-ending surgery
Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu pitches at spring training on March 2. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The chances of Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching for the Dodgers this year is decreasing with every day that passes without him throwing a baseball.

Now, reports from his homeland of South Korea [links in Korean] indicate the left-hander could be headed for a season-ending shoulder operation.


Which makes sense. Surgery would seem like the next logical step, considering how Ryu's rehabilitation has gone.

Ryu was shut down with shoulder inflammation in March and hasn't pitched since.

An MRI examination didn't offer any specific reasons as to why Ryu was experiencing discomfort, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The Dodgers hoped Ryu would respond well to rest, but that hasn't been the case.

The situation has placed Ryu and the Dodgers in something of a Catch-22. They can't find out what's wrong with him unless they open up his shoulder, but don't want to open up his shoulder unless they know what's wrong.

Given that shoulder operations are far riskier than elbow operations, Ryu was said to be extremely reluctant to undergo surgery.

Ryu could be the second Dodgers starting pitcher lost to a season-ending operation. Brandon McCarthy has already undergone Tommy John elbow surgery and is expected to be sidelined until some time next season.

The Dodgers knew Ryu was an injury risk, as he's been on the disabled list twice with shoulder issues. Nonetheless, the team's new front office signed two other starting pitchers with disconcerting medical histories over the winter in McCarthy and Brett Anderson.

Even with Anderson healthy, the Dodgers currently have two of their rotation spots occupied by Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias.