SAN DIEGO -- Four games into the season, setup reliever Brian Wilson is headed for the disabled list with nerve irritation in a right elbow that has already had two Tommy John reconstruction operations.
Manager Don Mattingly revealed the injury after Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Padres, adding he was relieved to hear that an MRI taken Monday did not reveal anything worse. Wilson will officially be placed on the DL on Wednesday, at which time a corresponding move will be made to replace him.
"We feel he'll be OK," said Mattingly. "It's not as good as it could be. The plan is to get him back once this calms down."
On the other hand, Mattingly could not offer a timetable for Wilson's return, only hours after it turned out that Clayton Kershaw will be sidelined for at least a month -- longer than the club originally indicated.
Mattingly noted that Wilson "felt something in the 'pen" warming up before he entered Sunday night's game, "but he still came out there."
Mattingly said Wilson went to Los Angeles for an MRI and exam by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Monday after giving up three runs without retiring a batter on Sunday. Mattingly said Wilson reported the discomfort after the game.
Wilson was in the clubhouse before Tuesday's game, but he did not appear on the field or in the bullpen. Chris Perez is likely to pick up the eighth-inning role, depending on matchups.
Wilson's health has been a cause of concern since a Spring Training game on March 10, when he threw a pitch that alarmed pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, resulting in a mound visit by Mattingly.
Wilson remained in that game, but he allowed two runs on two hits and was removed after two-thirds of an inning when he reached a 15-pitch limit. After the game, Mattingly said Wilson was fine.
But Wilson did not appear in another game until March 15, the day before the club left for Australia, where on March 22 Wilson pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts against Arizona. He has not pitched in back-to-back games this season.
Wilson, who returned from his second Tommy John surgery last year, was lights-out in 13 1/3 innings for the Dodgers down the stretch in 2013 before parlaying that success into a $10 million salary to set up 26-year-old closer Kenley Jansen.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.