Ryu Hyun-jin may start for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Diego Padres on Sunday in the first match of the season held in the U.S., according to the MLB.com on Thursday.
If Ryu is unable to pitch due to a nagging foot injury, Dan Haren may replace him. The Dodgers started the season last weekend in Australia with a two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but Monday's game is just as important as it will be the first match held on U.S. turf.
Originally, Dodgers' ace Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to start against the Padres, but an MRI scan revealed that one of the major muscles connecting his arm and back has become badly inflamed. Kershaw is expected to be back in action for a home game against the San Francisco Giants on April 4.
Ryu is also nursing an injury as his right toenail was torn in the second match in Australia on Saturday. Ryu's condition "was dramatically improved after undergoing [a surgical] procedure [on] Tuesday to remove half of the nail," reported MLB.com.
"He practiced his delivery on the bullpen mound during Wednesday's workout and told the club he believes he will be able to land on the right foot by Sunday night."