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Mystery solved: Dodgers star Mookie Betts’ hip pain is caused by a bone spur

Dodgers star Mookie Betts has been diagnosed with a bone spur in his hip and is on the injured list.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Doctors finally solved the mystery of the injury that has caused painful inflammation in Mookie Betts’ right hip and sent the Dodgers right fielder to the injured list twice in the past month.

Medical tests revealed that Betts has a spur in one of his pelvic bones but not in the labrum area of the hip, manager Dave Roberts said on Friday.

The condition usually requires surgery to shave down or remove the bone spur, but Betts received a second cortisone injection to ease the pain on Thursday and will try to finish out the season before undergoing any medical procedure.

“It’s a short-term solution,” Roberts said of the injection. “Right now, where we’re at, we’re trying to figure out what’s the best way to get him back with us and through the season. Once we get to the offseason, we’ll address that.”

To win a ninth consecutive NL West championship, the Dodgers will have to track down the Giants. A 2-1 loss Thursday to the Phillies didn’t help their chances.

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Betts was scratched from Tuesday night’s game in Philadelphia. He was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday and flew back to Los Angeles that night for further tests on Thursday.

“It’s a bone spur that is sort of tied into the hip,” Roberts said. “It’s really internal. We don’t know how it came to be. I really don’t know the exact location. All I know is it causes enough pain to prevent him from being out there.”

Betts was sidelined by the hip injury for the final two weeks of July. He was activated on Aug. 1 and hit .381 (eight for 21) with three homers and four RBIs in five games before returning to the injured list this week.

Betts, who is batting .277 with an .899 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 17 homers 25 doubles, 44 RBIs and 68 runs in 87 games, has not resumed baseball activities, and there is no timetable for his return.

“But I do know the pain has subsided,” Roberts said. “When he can return, I still don’t know because he still has to get ramped up to see how it feels.”

The Dodgers trailed San Francisco by five games with 47 games left entering Friday, and they’ll have to navigate at least another week or two without one of their most dynamic players.

“It’s been tough,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “Talking to him over last couple of days, he’s pulling hard for us, he’s doing what he can to make sure he gets back on the field as soon as he can. Until that time, we have to step up and fill in for him and figure out a way to win games.”

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer had his paid administrative leave extended Friday to Aug. 20. Commissioner Rob Manfred has decisions to make on potential discipline.


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