After an extended offseason due to the MLB lockout, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally returned to the field on Thursday, and a big piece of their lineup was missing: MVP candidate Max Muncy. However, the injury didn’t stop the MVP candidate from providing an injury update. Here, we look at how Muncy is expected to recover from the elbow injury and the impact on the Dodgers’ offense. Read on to learn about Muncy’s options in rehab.
There’s some good news about the status of Max Muncy’s elbow injury. The Dodgers’ outfielder has begun batting practice and will face live pitching over the weekend. The injury, which has kept Muncy out of the lineup for almost two months, has now been diagnosed as elbow inflammation. Muncy aggravated the injury during a recent series against the Nationals at Nationals Park, where he bent his left arm into the netting while going for a foul ball.
While the team has not released an official timeline for Muncy’s return, he has revealed that his elbow will need more time to heal. It’s unclear if the elbow will be healed enough for Muncy to play in the World Series, but he hopes to be back on the field for the first time in three weeks. The injury, which affected the ulnar collateral ligament, can be difficult to rehab without surgery. Muncy’s injury is similar to the one that ended his season in the middle of the year, where he was cut from the Oakland Athletics. The injury, however, is much more serious than it was initially thought. The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), which is involved in Tommy John surgery, is a major ligament that is difficult to repair without surgery.
After suffering a partially torn UCL in his left elbow last year, Max Muncy was ready to begin the season, but has had to return to the disabled list for a second time. Last year, the infielder tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and missed the entire postseason. Despite the lengthy recovery process, Muncy’s injury will force the Dodgers to decide whether to activate him from the injured list early or keep him on the disabled list for another month or two.
The loss came just days after Muncy had to be scratched from the lineup. In the top of the tenth inning of a game against the Phillies, Muncy mishandled a ground ball, allowing the Phillies to score two runs on the play. The loss ended LA’s seven-game winning streak. Los Angeles has attempted to avoid a bench-warming DH by using a universal DH. Unfortunately, this approach has backfired on the Dodgers more often than not. The most common DH, Justin Turner, has struggled in that role.
Rehabbing a partially torn UCL is never easy, but playing two higher-impact positions like second base and first base can disrupt the process. In Muncy’s case, he will need more range than he had previously. Moreover, he has been frustrated with the slow healing process. Five months after the injury, he has yet to swing a bat. Those who follow the Dodgers closely should take note.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were counting on Max Muncy’s return to the lineup soon after he sustained a torn UCL during the last game of the season. Muncy was hurt while colliding with Jace Peterson at first base. While Muncy initially called the injury a dislocated elbow, a MRI revealed that it was actually a torn UCL. Recovery time for position players is typically six months.
Thankfully, Max Muncy did not require surgery. Unlike many other athletes, Muncy has not undergone surgery to repair his UCL. Instead, he followed a non-surgical rehabilitation process in the winter. By spring training, Muncy was swinging a bat again. And, last month, he was the third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ opening day. Obviously, his recovery process has taken longer than expected, but the process has been an exciting one for fans and baseball fans alike.
Although the news that Muncy won’t need surgery is encouraging, it’s not good news for the Dodgers’ season. The injured player might not be ready for Wednesday’s National League Wild Card Game against the St. Louis Cardinals, or the ensuing division series against the San Francisco Giants. Despite Muncy’s limited availability, the team still hopes that he’ll be back in the lineup sometime late in October.
During the final game of the 2021 season, Muncy injured his elbow in an injury that happened to his nonthrowing hand. He did not require any surgery to correct the problem, which is why Muncy’s exit velocity lowered from 91.2 mph to 87.3 mph this season. Despite the discrepancy, Muncy has said that he won’t blame the injury for his present impact.
Impact on Dodgers’ offense
While Max Muncy is unlikely to return to the starting lineup for the next several weeks, the first baseman is expected to undergo additional testing on Friday. The 94 mph fastball he took in Game 5 in Washington was not a good strike for the first baseman. The initial diagnosis was a contusion in the right wrist. However, X-rays were negative. Though the ongoing testing is unsettling, Muncy said he would not return until next week.
The Dodgers will likely turn to other options if Max Muncy isn’t available for the first few games. One option is the NL MVP candidate Freddie Freeman, who is a free agent this winter. In addition to Freeman, the Dodgers have also shown interest in Nelson Cruz, a second baseman with solid defense. The two-time All-Star has primarily played first base for Los Angeles last season, but has also proven himself as a good defensive second baseman.
Although the severity of Max Muncy’s injury is unknown, Roberts is optimistic that the young phenom will be back in time for Opening Day at Coors Field. Muncy’s elbow has been in a slow healing process. Roberts shared the latest update on several other players on Thursday. Despite his lack of experience in the field, Muncy’s emergence as an elite offensive player has been crucial to the Dodgers’ success last season.
On Friday, the Dodgers had an opportunity to force a tiebreaker game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers. With a strong start from Walker Buehler, the Dodgers were in a prime position to make a run in the playoffs. After the first three innings, Muncy’s injury forced the team to use their bullpen. But that didn’t happen.
The early 1980s saw the Dodgers win the World Series with Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson. Kirk Gibson’s memorable walk-off home run in Game 1 was a highlight of the series. The veteran stepped off the bench with two outs in the ninth inning of game one. Although Kirk Gibson did not start the series due to injury, he played through the series and hit the game-winning home run.
The Nationals recently placed both Max Muncy and Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list due to different injuries. The first is a partially torn UCL in Muncy’s left elbow, which requires rehabilitation and time off. The second injury is a torn meniscus in the same elbow. Both players have been sidelined since October, but it’s unclear how long the latter will be out.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping that Max Muncy can return to action after his left elbow injury. The infielder has missed several games since May 28 due to inflammation in his elbow. Last year, Muncy dislocated his left elbow and missed the postseason. This year, he returned to action after an MRI revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He had been out of action since the injury and will head to Arizona for rehab.
As expected, Max Muncy’s rehab assignment will begin over the weekend. The first round of his rehab should be a short one, with no setbacks. The goal is to get Muncy back to the Majors in about three or four weeks. That could put him back in the starting lineups for fantasy baseball players this week. In the meantime, he may be able to return to the field in early July.
The first option for rehab is to play baseball. Max Muncy will undergo on-field batting practice and defensive drills this weekend. Although the elbow still doesn’t feel completely normal, he has agreed with the manager’s estimate that he’s 85% recovered. Considering the nature of the injury, it’s safe to say that Muncy is expected to be back with the Dodgers by the middle of the month.