LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier will not play again this season and has left the team to consult with famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., about his troublesome right knee.
Ethier, who has been an All-Star each of the past two seasons and is a key member of the Dodgers' core, was expected to have surgery on the knee after the season. Thursday's development could mean he will have the procedure sooner than that.
"I don't think he's going to play again [this season]," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said to reporters before a doubleheader in Washington on Thursday.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti confirmed Ethier will be shelved and will focus on getting healthy for next season.
"We knew his symptoms, and it hadn't gotten worse, but we don't want it to get worse," Mattingly added. "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 it hasn't lessened the discomfort.
Ethier is in the midst of what by his standards has been a lackluster offensive season -- which he blames largely on the knee -- but he still is putting up respectable numbers, batting .292 with 30 doubles, 62 RBIs and a .368 on-base percentage. But his 11 home runs are well off his usual pace and are his lowest total since his rookie season of 2006, when he wasn't even called up to the majors until a month into the season.
"You start making changes to get away from pain, and you can easily get away from your base," Mattingly said.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.