Chad Billingsley’s season is in jeopardy after MRI reveals torn flexor tendon in right elbow.

Chad Billingsley

Chad Billingsley made two rehab starts for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga this season and didn’t make it out of the second inning in either appearance. (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Twitter)

Chad Billingsley‘s season is in jeopardy after an MRI scan Thursday revealed a partial tear of the flexor tendon in his right elbow.

Though surgery is commonly performed, Billingsley is planning to discuss his options with team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache in the coming days before deciding on a course of action.

The prognosis for recovery from torn flexor tendon surgery varies greatly.
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Chad Billingsley tentatively scheduled to re-launch minor league rehab Saturday.

Chad BillingsleyDodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley called it a case of “déjà vu.”

If all goes well in his simulated game Tuesday, Billingsley said he will start a minor-league rehabilitation game on Saturday. The right-hander threw a 30-pitch simulated game Thursday and a bullpen outing Saturday. He got through both sessions without pain, which left him optimistic about making his first rehab start since April 6 on schedule.

“We’ll see once we get past Tuesday,” he said.

The options for Billingsley: Triple-A Albuquerque has a road game in Tacoma, Washington; Double-A Chattanooga has a road game in Pearl, Mississippi; Single-A Rancho Cucamonga has a home game against Bakersfield. The Dodgers have a road game in Colorado.

Billingsley thinks he’ll need five rehab starts before he’s cleared to pitch a major-league game.

“I’m just anxious to get back out there,” he said. “Through this whole process, I’ve had patience. Keep working. It can be very frustrating at times. It’s all part of the process.”
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Chad Billingsley takes a small step forward with 30-pitch bullpen session.

Chad Billingsley

Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley lasted 1 1/3 innings in his only rehab start for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on April 6. (Associated Press photo)

Chad Billingsley threw 30 pitches off the bullpen mound Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

“Nice and easy,” he said. “Fastballs, changeups. I wasn’t trying to throw hard. It was nice and easy.”

Billingsley hadn’t been throwing for three weeks before last week in Miami, when he resumed playing catch off flat ground. Tuesday’s bullpen session was only his second since his three-week break.

Because of that, Billingsley said he was told to dial back after hitting 82 mph on the radar gun.

“I’m mostly focused on building endurance,” he said.

Billingsley is basically re-starting the rehab process that preceded his only rehabilitation start a month ago for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. During that game, he felt pain in his elbow, forcing him to essentially re-start a throwing program that he started in the off-season.

The 29-year-old right-hander hasn’t begun throwing curveballs yet, but might do so off flat ground next week. That will happen sometime during the Dodgers’ 10-day, three-city road trip that begins Friday in Phoenix.

Billingsley, who had Tommy John surgery in April 2013, admitted that re-starting the process has been “deflating.”

“When you’re doing so well throwing in a rehab game, I’m four more outings away from being back,” he said. “It happens. It’s definitely deflating. You start getting so close, pull the reins back, and something happens. It’s tough. Got to go through that whole rehab process, treatments and everything. Building back there again.”