Brett Anderson left the Dodgers' spring-training camp Wednesday to undergo tests after tweaking his back while throwing batting practice the day before.
Manager Dave Roberts downplayed the severity of Anderson's condition. He indicated the team gave Anderson a day off after he reported soreness.
Anderson underwent surgery for a herniated disk in 2014. He recovered to make a career-best 31 starts for the Dodgers in 2015. He rejoined the team this season after accepting a one-year, $15.8-million qualifying offer.
Anderson is slated for the No. 4 spot in the Dodgers rotation. His career has been stymied by injuries before he landed in Los Angeles. He has undergone elbow ligament-replacement surgery, dealt with a stress fracture in his right foot and suffered a broken finger after being hit by a pitch.
The back condition started while he pitched for the Colorado Rockies in 2014. Anderson avoided the disabled list last season and felt confident about his ability to remain healthy in 2016.
The Dodgers do not lack depth in starting pitchers. The team has slated Alex Wood and Brandon Beachy to pitch in the fifth game of the Cactus League. They are, along with Mike Bolsinger, among the candidates to replace Hyun-Jin Ryu in the rotation. Ryu has been given a few days off after reporting some soreness as he recovers from surgery on his left shoulder.
Roberts eschewed watching a simulated game, in which most of the team's regulars practiced different defensive situations, so he could study Wood and Beachy throwing batting practice.
"Honestly, I'm not trying to read too much into it right now," Roberts said. "Guys are excited about competing. We're in a pretty good situation."
Let the games begin
The Dodgers open their Cactus League schedule Thursday against the Chicago White Sox at noon at Camelback Ranch.
Clayton Kershaw will start and is scheduled to throw two innings.
The game can be seen on SportsNets LA and heard on 570 LA Sports and KTNQ 1020.
Sent to the corner
Justin Turner hopes to make his Cactus League debut by early next week. He has been held back in certain activities as he returns from microfracture surgery on his left knee. In the interim, the Dodgers will experiment with Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley at third base.
Another player who will see time there is Alex Guerrero. Roberts does not plan to use Guerrero in the outfield. He will play third base only, Roberts said.