Hyun-Jin Ryu, a bright light on this underperforming Dodgers roster, will be out until after the All-Star break after suffering a severe strain of his left groin, manager Dave Roberts said on Thursday. The injury was "pretty dramatic," as Ryu tore the muscle off the bone and experienced significant pain.
Ryu injured himself in the second inning against Arizona on Wednesday. He was put on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday. The team will recall Walker Buehler to start on Friday against San Diego.
Ryu started the season in excellent fashion. He was 3-0 with a 2.12 earned-run average and 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings. He can become a free agent after this season.
"Very unfortunate incident," Roberts said. "Hyun-Jin has prepared so well for this season. I think it just happened. He was ready to go. And he was in the middle of the game. And it wasn't terribly cold. It was just a very unfortunate incident."
With Ryu on the shelf, the Dodgers called up reliever Yimi Garcia and outfielder Tim Locastro on Thursday morning. The team also optioned utility player Breyvic Valera to the minors. Valera will be the 26th man for the team's series this weekend against the Padres in Monterrey, Mexico.
The team hopes to activate Rich Hill from the disabled list on Sunday. But Hill, who's been out with a cracked nail on his left middle finger, has experienced setbacks with his fingers before. Roberts was noncommittal about Buehler becoming a fixture in the Dodgers' rotation, but Buehler figures to be the immediate replacement for Ryu.
"It seems like the logical choice," Roberts said. "And we'll see how things play out in the near future."
The Dodgers will monitor Buehler's usage this season as he pitches in only his second full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery. He is not expected to throw much more than 150 innings. The team will not alter that plan based on the injuries of others.
The list of injured Dodgers continues to grow. Corey Seager will miss the rest of the season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Justin Turner has not returned from a fractured wrist. Logan Forsythe could start a rehab assignment for his sore shoulder this weekend. Yasiel Puig is nursing problems with his hip and foot. And now Ryu will be unavailable until late summer.
"We've talked about depth for the last three years," Roberts said. "And we've had to use it. And yeah, has it been kind of all close together? Sure. But we still have players who can help us win baseball games. We really do."