Josh Beckett injury: Dodgers right-hander shut down with nerve irritation

Christian Petersen

The veteran will sit out at least the next four weeks in an attempt to calm the irritation in his ulnar nerve.

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett has been diagnosed with irritation in the ulnar nerve of his throwing arm and has been prescribed four weeks of rest as a result, reports J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News Los Angeles.

Beckett, 33, was put on the disabled list May 14 with a sore groin and numbness in his pitching hand. The club's doctors initially attributed the numbing in his throwing hand to an irritated ulnar nerve, a diagnosis that a specialist in Dallas confirmed on Monday.

The Dodgers began the season with an incredibly deep rotation, but watched as all but two of their starting pitchers -- Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu -- hit the disabled list in April and May. Beckett is currently joined on the DL by Chris Capuano and Chad Billingsley, the latter of whom is out for year.

Manager Don Mattingly said that the team has not discussed moving Beckett to the bullpen when he eventually returns to the roster, but if the injury continues to nag at him then a relief role may be in the cards. The right-hander owns a 5.19 ERA in eight starts on the year.

Matt Magill and Stephen Fife have made spot starts in Beckett's absence, and will likely continue to do so over the next month unless Capuano's situation improves.

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