Shawn Tolleson pitched an inning Thursday afternoon in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That night, he and the Isotopes flew into Des Moines to play the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Friday morning, the Dodgers called up Tolleson to pitch in that night’s game in Phoenix, Arizona.
“I had a crazy travel day,” he said.
Along the way, Tolleson’s lower back stiffened up. The adrenaline got him through 11 pitches against the Diamondbacks — he walked both batters he faced — but it couldn’t mask the pain in his back at night.
“I didn’t say anything to the staff that night,” Tolleson recalled. “I went back to the hotel room. It really knotted up. I couldn’t sleep. I was lying on the floor.”
Saturday night, wisely, Tolleson let the Dodgers’ trainers know that he hadn’t slept all night. Monday, he visited with Dr. Robert Watkins, who advised the pitcher that surgery was a possibility if the injury worsened.
“I don’t want to lose this season,” Tolleson said. “I just want to do whatever I can to avoid” surgery.
Tolleson, who received an epidural injection in his lower back Monday, said he felt “all right” Tuesday, but won’t throw until next week. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Saturday.
It’s not the first lower back injury Tolleson has dealt with this year. He said it stiffened up on him during a workout in January but didn’t bother him again during spring training.
Josh Wall was recalled from Albuquerque on Monday and made his 2013 debut last night against the San Diego Padres.