Just when it appeared that all of Andre Ethier‘s health issues were finally… finally behind him, there is yet another fly in the ointment.
After battling back from a horrible (and freak) injury almost a year ago to the day in which he fouled a ball off of his right shin during a spring training game on March 18, 2016 that fractured his right tibia, Ethier missed all but the final three weeks of the 2016 regular season.
Following the off-season, the soon-to-be 35-year old (on April 10) Phoenix, Arizona native and longest tenured Dodger arrived at Camelback Ranch for spring training 2017 apparently 100 percent healthy – or so we thought. But after appearing in only six spring training games, the 11-year MLB veteran experienced what he called “back soreness” after running the bases on March 6 and he removed himself from the game.
Ethier returned to action on March 17 but again left the game, this time for what was being called “a hip spasm.” He took two days off and was scheduled to start in Sunday’s exhibition game against Team Japan of the World Baseball Classic but was a late scratch after his back stiffness had returned.
As noted in Bill Plunkett’s tweets, team officials have decided to quit waiting for the veteran outfielder’s back (and apparently related hip) issues to heal on their own and have scheduled an MRI for later today to ascertain if Ethier’s ailments are more serious than initially thought.
Having to undergo an MRI with Opening Day exactly two weeks away is never a good thing. But if Andre Ethier has taught us anything, he has taught us that he is a survivor. He has also taught us that he has a knack for rising to the occasion when the chips are down.
He is, after all,”Captain Clutch.”