Dodgers lose fifth starter Milton

Updated: July 15, 2009, 10:56 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Eric Milton has had surgery for a herniated disk in his back and will be out at least three months, likely bringing his season to an end, according to media reports.

Milton, who spent two years recovering from Tommy John surgery, was 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in five starts for the Dodgers as their No. 5 starter after signing a minor league deal.

But Milton, who was twice placed on the disabled list this season, underwent the back surgery after suffering a setback in New York last week, according to MLB.com.

While Milton's season may be over, his career could continue, depending on his recovery. Last week he said he had no intention of retiring at the end of the season, according to the Los Angeles Times.

James McDonald, Eric Stults and Jason Schmidt are the top candidates to replace Milton in the rotation, the Times reported.

Milton has a 89-85 record and 4.99 ERA in 271 career starts with the Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins. He was an All-Star in 2001, when he went 15-7 for the Twins.