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Dodgers All-Star Mookie Betts unlikely to play this weekend after fouling ball off foot

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts reacts as he strikes out swinging during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mookie Betts is unlikely to play in the Los Angeles Dodgers' weekend series against the Washington Nationals after fouling a ball off his left foot.

Manager Dave Roberts said after the Dodgers' 8-5 victory Friday night that Betts' CT scan and MRI exam came back negative. The seven-time All-Star outfielder was diagnosed with a bone bruise. The 2018 AL MVP was off crutches Friday, a day after he was injured in Miami.

“I still stand by I don't see him making an appearance this weekend,” Roberts said.

The NL West-leading Dodgers also said pitcher Walker Buehler will not return to the major leagues this year following Tommy John surgery. Los Angeles activated designated hitter J.D. Martinez from the 10-day injured list after he recovered from groin tightness.

Betts leads the NL in on-base percentage (.411) and slugging percentage (.609), and ranks third in RBIs (99), fourth in home runs (career-high 38) and fifth in batting average (.314). He hit .455 with 11 homers and 30 RBIs in August.

Buehler had Tommy John surgery on Aug. 5, 2015, and again on Aug. 23 last year. A two-time All-Star who is 46-16 with 3.02 ERA in 115 big league appearances, has not pitched in the majors since June 10, 2022. The 29-year-old right-hander pitched two scoreless innings in a rehabilitation appearance Sunday for Triple-A Oklahoma City, his first outing since surgery.

“Given where we’re at on the schedule, where he’s at in his progression, I think we all just came to the decision that it was best to just not try to force something to potentially affect him next year and beyond for his career,” Roberts said.

Buehler will not make any more rehab appearances this season.

Martinez had last played Aug. 19. The 36-year-old, who is hitting .256 with 25 homers and 78 RBIs, played in two rehab games for Oklahoma City this week and was to hit cleanup for the Dodgers on Friday.

“He feels good,” Roberts said. “We haven’t made a decision yet on Sunday, but the hope is that we took the ample time and he should be able to perform when called upon.”

Los Angeles optioned infielder Michael Busch to Oklahoma City. The rookie is hitting .167 with two homers and seven RBIs in 27 games.

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