GLENDALE, Ariz. — Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson will have surgery on a bulging disk in his lower back today. He’s expected to miss approximately 3-5 months, a broad timetable that would allow the pitcher to return anytime between June and August.
Manager Dave Roberts said that he expects Anderson, who made a career-high 31 starts last year, to return before the end of the season.
Anderson, 28, was slotted into the Dodgers’ starting rotation again after going 10-9 with a 3.69 earned-run average in 2015. Anderson threw live batting practice to teammates on Tuesday, and said he felt the pain at the end of the session.
The surgery will be performed by Dr. Chris Yeung in Phoenix.
Roberts mentioned Brandon Beachy and Mike Bolsinger as the top candidates to replace Anderson in the rotation. Hyun-Jin Ryu is not expected to return from his conservative shoulder rehab program until May. Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir and Alex Wood project as the top four starters to begin the season.
“We didn’t expect our depth would be tested so early,” said Roberts.
Anderson wasn’t in the Dodgers’ clubhouse this morning and hasn’t spoken to Roberts since the diagnosis. He posted this reaction to his Twitter account Thursday morning:
Definitely not the start I wanted for this season but hopefully it just means a better ending.
— Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson35) March 3, 2016