Alex Wood is Dodgers' latest injured starting pitcher

The Dodgers scratched left-hander Alex Wood from his scheduled start Saturday because of what the team called tightness in his left forearm.

The injury gives the Dodgers a complete rotation of ailing starting pitchers. The other four — Brett Anderson (back surgery), Brandon McCarthy (elbow surgery), Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder surgery) and Frankie Montas (rib resection surgery) — will start the season on the disabled list.

Wood said he had what he called "extremely mild" soreness after throwing 50 pitches in his only previous spring start. The Dodgers did not consider the condition serious enough to send him for an MRI exam but scratched him anyway. Wood said he expects to make his next start.

"I would describe this as 'overly cautious,'" he said.

Forearm tightness can be a precursor to Tommy John surgery — a procedure Wood had in 2009 while playing at the University of Georgia.

"I'm not concerned," he said. "If I was, I wouldn't be planning on making my next start."

If Wood were to undergo that surgery again, he would be unlikely to return until well into the 2017 season. The small track record of pitchers returning from two Tommy John surgeries is not encouraging.

Wood arrived in camp without a secure spot in the rotation, but the injury to Anderson and the slow rehabilitation of Ryu had anchored Wood as the Dodgers' No. 4 starter.

The Dodgers' rotation now includes Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda. If Wood were to be seriously injured, Mike Bolsinger, Brandon Beachy, Zach Lee and Carlos Frias would compete for the final two spots.

The Dodgers also could consider using a young player — most likely Julio Urias or Jose De Leon — for a few starts early in the season, then returning the player to the minor leagues and limiting his innings there.

Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter: @BillShaikin

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