<
>

Josh Beckett won't throw for month

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett, on the disabled list with nerve irritation in his right arm and hand, likely won't require surgery, but will not begin throwing for at least four weeks, the team said Tuesday.

Beckett visited Dallas earlier this week to meet with nerve specialist Gregory Pearl, the doctor who performed the surgery on St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter's shoulder last season.

Beckett said he will attempt to heal the injury through physical therapy for the next month, but that he has been told he might still require surgery. Carpenter underwent a similar procedure and surprised a lot of people by returning to pitch last September and October. Other prominent pitchers who have had the procedure to fix thoracic outlet syndrome include David Cone and Kenny Rogers.

"I think surgery is Plan F," Beckett said. "You always want to avoid surgery if you can. We're going to try a lot of different things here in the next four weeks and then kind of reassess things."

Beckett, 33, has been dealing with numbness in the fingertips of his right hand for weeks and has been on the disabled list since May 14. He is 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts for the Dodgers this year. Several of those starts came after he began experiencing the discomfort.

Beckett, who is in the third year of a four-year, $68 million contract, is one of three starters from the Dodgers' season-opening rotation who has spent time on the disabled list. Right-hander Chad Billingsley is lost for the season after undergoing elbow surgery and right-hander Zack Greinke missed a little more than a month with a broken left collarbone.

The Dodgers have used the DL 18 times this season on 15 different players.

Beckett came to the Dodgers in a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox last August. He went 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA over the final five weeks of 2012, but has said the numbness in his fingers made it difficult for him to feel the ball in his most recent starts this season.