Dodgers shut down Andre Ethier for season
In the end, Andre Ethier got his way. Anyway, we think it was his way, depending on which day he was talking.
But at least it seemed the sensible, logical approach when the Dodgers announced Thursday that they were shutting down Ethier and his bad knee for the rest of the season.
What little we know about the knee injury comes from Ethier, because the team's medical staff was instructed not to comment after a brouhaha exploded when Ethier first told The Times’ T.J. Simers he was playing through pain, as had been requested. Which he amended the next day to say that playing was always at his discretion.
Ethier said there was a skin fold caught under his right kneecap and the joint, which pinches. The expected procedure to correct it is arthroscopic. He left the team Thursday to go to Birmingham, Ala., to get a second opinion from famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
If the surgery takes place as expected, the recovery process is not major.
Despite an early-season 30-game hitting streak, the Dodgers outfielder has experienced a disappointing season, his power numbers shrinking to un-Ethier like numbers (11 homers, 62 RBI). Ethier said he believes that his power stroke will return next season, after the surgery.
"Yeah, that's the reason we're doing this right now," he said.
Why the Dodgers ever wanted Ethier to play through the pain when their season was long over remains something of a mystery. Unless you just buy that they were somewhat skeptical of the severity of the pain and believed that it was simply an excuse for poor performance.
But there was really nothing to be gained by continuing to play him now when it was anticipated he would require surgery in the offseason anyway. Jerry Sands is up, more kids are coming, the season is long over. Let him have the surgery and start rehabbing now for next year.
If the knee wasn't getting worse, it certainly was not getting any better. All focus now should be on next season, anyway.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Andre Ethier. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters.