Hanley Ramirez Injury: Updates on Dodgers Star's Thumb

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 20, 2013

Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez suffered a thumb injury while playing for his native Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic final against Puerto Rico on Tuesday evening.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 30 at 6:06 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo:

Hanley Ramirez tweeted a picture announcing his return to the Dodgers' lineup:

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UPDATE: Monday, April 29 at 9:19 p.m ET by Tom Kinslow

The Dodgers have announced that they have taken Hanley Ramirez off of the disabled list as he continues his return from his thumb injury.

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UPDATE: Saturday, April 27 at 2:15 p.m ET by Michael Cahill

According to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles, Ramirez is scheduled to start a rehab assignment and could return to the club as soon as Tuesday. 

Saxon writes: 

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez will begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment Saturday and could rejoin the team as early as Tuesday, several weeks earlier than anticipated, manager Don Mattingly said Friday.

After Ramirez had surgery March 22 to repair a torn tendon in his right thumb, doctors predicted he would be out roughly eight weeks.

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UPDATE: Wednesday, April 24 at 7:33 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

Los Angeles Times reporter Dylan Hernandez reports the Ramirez plans to start a rehab assignment next week:

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UPDATE: Tuesday, April 16 at 9:18 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

According to Los Angeles Times reporter Bill Shaikin, Ramirez will be back before mid-May:

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez said Tuesday he plans to return "way sooner" than the mid-May timetable set when he had thumb surgery.

"Everybody is going to be shocked," Ramirez said.

Ramirez said he felt "awesome" after hitting in the cage and taking ground balls with his right thumb taped.

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UPDATE: Thursday, March 21 at 11:55 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Awful news for Dodgers fans, as Los Angeles has announced that star Hanley Ramirez will undergo surgery to repair his injured thumb.

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times provided the news, and on Wednesday, the newspaper's Dodgers beat writer, Dylan Hernandez, laid out a time line as to how long Ramirez may be out:

Orange County Register reporter Bill Plunkett confirmed the window of Ramirez's injury on Sulia. Plunkett then logged some specific quotes from Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly on the matter:

On the optimistic side, he had another at-bat, even got a single -- it's just a sprain. He's out a couple weeks.

On the pessimistic side, it could be something more serious and he's out longer, 8 to 10 weeks. That's kind of what I was told.

Until we get the MRI, we're just guessing.

The Dodgers open the 2013 Major League Baseball season against the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants on April 1, and they could definitely use Ramirez's help to get the year off to a strong start. 

However, that seems unlikely in light of this recent report, as even the most optimistic estimate of two weeks would still likely put Ramirez out for the first few games of the season.

The 29-year-old Ramirez struggled in his final two campaigns with the Miami Marlins franchise before being traded to the Dodgers back in July. It has been a bit of a career rut for Ramirez, who won the National League batting title back in 2009 when he hit .342 with a career-high 106 RBI.

The verdict is still out as to whether Ramirez will shine in L.A. as brightly as he once did, but the signs so far aren't exactly encouraging. This injury is a further setback.

Ramirez should hit the field as soon as possible, especially considering he missed a chunk of spring training due to his WBC participation.