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Dodgers place rookie Walker Buehler on disabled list with microfractured rib

Los Angeles Times writers Andy McCullough and Bill Shaikin discuss the Dodgers' pitching woes, and how they are still on track for a playoff run.

Over the weekend, Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler underwent an MRI on his sore ribcage. He had made three starts since absorbing a line drive May 21, and his symptoms had worsened. The examination revealed why: a microfracture on the right side of his ribs, which forced him onto the 10-day disabled list before Tuesday’s game against Texas.

Buehler (4-1, 2.63 ERA) became the latest Dodgers pitcher to go down with an injury, joining Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda on the disabled list. Caleb Ferguson rejoined the team to make his second big league start Tuesday against the Rangers.

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As the regulars in the starting rotation went down, the Dodgers were kept afloat by Buehler and Ross Stripling. Now Buehler will miss at least a couple of weeks, manager Dave Roberts said.

“That’s the hope,” Roberts said before Tuesday’s game. “But you never really want to put a timeline on something where there is a microfracture. You don’t know what type of pain Walker was in. Knowing Walker wants to pitch is a big thing. We’ll just continue to monitor his throwing.”

The other injured pitchers are slowly making progress back from their injuries. Kenta Maeda (hip strain) is scheduled to start Wednesday, pitching for the first time since his hip started bothering him May 29.

Kershaw (back strain) threw a bullpen session Tuesday. Roberts suggested Kershaw could appear in a simulated game “in the near future.” He missed five weeks with a similar injury last season. Kershaw went down May 31.

“Every day since then, it’s progressively gotten a lot better,” Roberts said. “I’ve talked to him every day, and he feels really good. With the information from the training staff and how he’s feeling, that’s our gauge on how aggressive we need to be with Clayton. Every hurdle, every marker, he’s passed.”

Ryu (torn groin muscle) also threw a bullpen session. He is not expected to be ready until after the All-Star break.

“It was a low-intensity thing,” Roberts said. “But the training staff is encouraged about Hyun-Jin.”

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