The team called the incident a "freak injury" that took place last Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, when Ethier fouled a ball off his shin. X-rays did not reveal any broken bones, but a follow-up CT-scan showed the fracture.
The Dodgers projected Ethier as the starting left fielder this season. New manager Dave Roberts said he talked to his player, saying he was "obviously disappointed." Roberts suggested that he should go clear his head by spending time with family, stepping away from the game for a couple of days.
The injury will not require surgery, although the team needs to find a suitable replacement in the meantime. The likes of Carl Crawford, Scott Van Slyke, and Trayce Thompson are the top candidates for the position.
Ethier had 395 at-bats last season, batting .294 with 14 home runs and 53 RBI, while also adding a .366 on-base percentage and seven triples. He finished second on the team with an .852 OPS, behind only Justin Turner. He ranked 18th in the National League in on-base percentage and 20th in slugging percentage.
Roberts has a tough task ahead of him, as he looks to have his team ready after a tough-going spring. 2016 Spring Training for the Dodgers is one that will truly test the depth of their roster.