McCarthy to join rotation for finale vs. Rox

Wood, Ryu also nearing return to boost ailing staff

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' pitching depth has been running dry the last couple of weeks, but an incoming wave of starters returning from injury could help fill the team's rotation in the near future.

Right-hander Brandon McCarthy (elbow) will make his return to the team Sunday against the Rockies after spending more than a year recovering from Tommy John surgery, with Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) and Alex Wood (triceps) waiting in the wings.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said McCarthy would be under no limitations after four rehab starts with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City. He reached 72 pitches in his last time out with Rancho.

"He's full go," Roberts said of McCarthy. "We kind of sped it a little bit because of the circumstance, but Brandon's excited about getting back and being active. We expect him to pitch well on Sunday."

Julio Urias had been previously scheduled to pitch Sunday, but McCarthy's return will push him to Monday.

The team's depth has been stressed enough to lead to a trade for Bud Norris and Brock Stewart's five-run MLB debut. The latter's season started at Class A Advanced.

Wood reported before Friday's game that he was on track for a return around the beginning of August and would set out on a rehab assignment in the near future. The southpaw anticipated he wouldn't need more than three rehab starts.

"Getting off the mound tomorrow for the first time, then should shoot on a rehab assignment in the next week and a half or so," Wood said. "It's the thing about being a starter is that you have to go back and build back up if you miss any extended time. It's going really well and I feel great, so counting down the days."

Ryu's rehab had run parallel with McCarthy's for much of 2016, but he has seen obstacles repeatedly through the year, including a groin strain in April and an aborted rehab assignment in May. His fifth rehab start on Friday, in which he went seven innings and threw 91 pitches while allowing two runs, could decide if he's activated before the All-Star break.

"After tonight, we'll reevaluate if it makes sense for him to join us before the break. If not, he won't," Roberts said before Friday's game. 

Ryu allowed eight runs in a rehab appearance with Oklahoma City on June 23 and his most recent start ended prematurely due to rain.

Jack Baer is a reporter for based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.