Pollock was sidelined for nearly five months that season after fracturing his elbow on an awkward slide into home plate. Pollock, who then played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, suffered the injury in the team’s final spring training game.
The good news is that Pollock’s elbow is now structurally sound, which will allow for the screw to be removed completely.
Dave Roberts said A.J. Pollock's elbow is now structurally sound, which is why the plate and screws are being removed tomorrow. The elbow broke twice previously.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 2, 2019
What’s not known is how much time Pollock will be forced to miss as he recovers from the procedure. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed optimism that Pollock will return this season.
“Absolutely,” Roberts said, when asked if he expects Pollock to be out for less than five months. “From what I understand, the bone structure is in a good place, and that’s encouraging. There’s no need to replace the hardware. They can just remove it, and that’s a good sign.”
Pollock was originally sent to the injured list on Tuesday with an infection in his bursa sac in the same elbow. That ailment stemmed from a rough landing last week in Chicago.
In an update to this story, the Dodgers say the infection and the removal of the metal screw are not connected. An exploratory procedure aimed at analyzing the infection revealed that Pollock’s growth plate had healed enough for the screw to be removed.
Disappointing start to Dodgers career
Pollock was a big part of the Dodgers outfield overhaul over the winter. He was signed to a four-year, $55 million contract one month after the team traded Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Cincinnati Reds.
He was off to a disappointing start before his injury, hitting just .223/.287/.330 with two homers and 14 RBIs through his first 28 games.
Who will replace Pollock?
The injury will open up playing time for former top prospect Alex Verdugo. He should line up beside Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson on a regular basis. Unlike Pollock, the 22-year-old is off to a strong start, hitting .333/.361/.623 with four homers and 16 RBIs this season.
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