Dodgers' starter May headed back to IL due to right elbow pain

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Less than a year after coming back from Tommy John surgery, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Dustin May is headed back to the injured list due to right elbow pain.

Manager Dave Roberts said after Wednesday's 7-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins that May has a flexor pronator strain and would miss at least one month.

May — who had reconstructive elbow surgery in May 2021 — went only one inning before exiting the game. He allowed one hit and struck out two.

“It's tough for Dustin, what he's had to go through,” Roberts said. “He was throwing the baseball well this year and feeling good. Right now to have this speed bump, I know he's disappointed.”

Roberts said he noticed early on that May's velocity was down and that he was moving his hand in a way that indicated something wasn't right. The average velocity of the right-hander's sinker and fastball were down two to three miles per hour compared to his first eight outings.

“He felt that it was just normal soreness like any starting pitcher has and obviously he felt good enough to make the start,” Roberts said. “He was trying to lobby to stay in there and finish what he started, but we had to do what’s best for him.”

The 25-year old May has a 4-1 record with a 2.63 ERA. Opponents are batting .173 against May, which is second-lowest in the National League and sixth-lowest in the majors.

May, known for his long, flowing red hair, returned from reconstructive elbow surgery toward the end of last season and was 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA in six starts.

Dylan Covey, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City before the game, came in for May. Covey allowed two runs — both homers — in five innings.

Covey could be a candidate to take over May's spot in the rotation. The Dodgers lead the NL West with a 28-16 record. Their starting staff is fourth in the NL with a 3.77 ERA.

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