Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts gets injection for bone spur in hip

ByAlden Gonzalez ESPN logo
Sunday, August 15, 2021

Mookie Betts, the Los Angeles Dodgers' superstar outfielder, received an injection that helped alleviate the pain in his troublesome right hip, but he is not currently partaking in physical activity.

Betts has a bone spur in that hip, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed Friday. But the Dodgers hope to put off any surgical procedure -- if one is required -- until the offseason.

"We're trying to figure out the best way to get him back to us and through the season," Roberts said before Friday night's 6-5 win over the New York Metsin the opener of a weekend road series. "Once we get into the offseason, we'll kind of address that."

Betts is putting together another spectacular offensive season, with a .277/.378/.521 slash line and a 144 adjusted OPS, 9 points higher than his career average heading into 2021. But the hip ailment has prevented him from performing at an elite level for prolonged stretches and is now placing his immediate future in doubt.

Betts missed 11 games at the end of July because of the hip injury, then returned on Aug. 1, played in five games -- starting the first three at second base to reduce the distance he would have to cover on full sprints -- and suffered a flare-up.

The Dodgers waited four days before placing him back on the injured list Wednesday, at which point Betts flew back to Los Angeles to get another evaluation on his hip.

Those tests revealed the bone spur.

"I don't know the exact location," Roberts said. "All I know is that it causes enough discomfort for him to not be out there and go on the IL and to get an injection for the pain to dissipate."

Betts joins longtime ace Clayton Kershaw as Dodgers superstars with murky timetables heading into the final stretch of the regular season. Kershaw hasn't pitched in a game since July 3 because of inflammation around his left elbow and won't return until September, at the earliest.

Betts' timetable seems even less certain at this moment.

Matt Beaty and Billy McKinney, both left-handed hitters, have been starting in right field in Betts' absence. But with Trea Turner now at second base, the Dodgers can also move Cody Bellinger to right field and start Chris Taylor in center.

Roberts, whose team is 4 games behind the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West, acknowledged that the injection in Betts' right hip is merely "a short-term solution."

"My assumption is we're gonna keep managing it day by day, but hopefully this shot has a longer-lasting effect," Roberts said. "But we won't know until we look up seven, 10 days, a month from now, and once he starts ramping up more with the physical activity."

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