Andre Ethier not expected to play again this season

Andre Ethier appears to have become the third Dodger starting position player to call it a season because of injury, joining Casey Blake and Juan Uribe. Less than two weeks after the controversy about his injured knee broke,  the decision has been made that solving the problem is more important than seeing how long it can be tolerated.

From Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

… Ethier has left the club to consult with famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., concerning the right fielder’s continually troublesome right knee.

This appears to be an indication Ethier, who has been an All-Star each of the past two seasons and is a key member of the Dodgers core, won’t play again this season. He already was expected to have surgery on the knee after the season, and this could mean he will have it sooner than that.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly’s comments to reporters before the Dodgers doubleheader in Washington on Thursday made it sound as if that is a foregone conclusion.

“We knew his symptoms, and it hadn’t gotten worse, but we don’t want it to get worse,” Mattingly said. “It definitely doesn’t sound like something that will be with him the rest of his career once it is taken care of. We will go into next year expecting him to be fully healthy for spring training. … By getting this taken care of now, it allows him to heal and get his work done and come to spring training ready to go.”

Ethier has been playing through pain in the knee since last season and considered surgery last winter before ultimately deciding against it. He received a series of three injections of orthovisc, a synthetic fluid that lubricates the knee, over a three-week period that ended three weeks ago, but that hasn’t lessened the discomfort. …

“You start making changes to get away from pain, and you can easily get away from your base,” Mattingly said.

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