Injury Roll Call: Greinke iffy for Opening Day, Crawford making progress, Bills still solid

ZackGreinkeDodgersPitching

Zack Greinke, who was out with elbow discomfort and forearm stiffness, received an injection after being examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

The team doctor gave Greinke an injection of platelet-rich plasma and anti-inflammatory medication. The pitcher has been prescribed rest for two to three days and then a return to a progressive throwing program.

ElAttrache’s diagnosis confirmed an MRI taken last week that Greinke had no structural ligament or tendon damage in the elbow, which has bothered him since his last start March 1.

Greinke has told the team he’s dealt with similar elbow issues in the past that never kept him from missing a start.

Greinke was set to rest for a couple of days before beginning a progressive throwing program.

For his part, Greinke chose not to speculate on the exact extent of the injury or self-diagnose:

“I didn’t really know exactly what the problem is, and I still don’t. They might, but I don’t. I’m not a doctor, I’m just kind of going what they are saying to me,” Greinke said. “I don’t have any definitive stuff to tell you guys. I don’t know if it’s the same problem as I’ve had in the past, and I don’t know if it’s a little different.”

On Friday, Greinke played catch, the first time he’s thrown since receiving an injection of plasma in his elbow. Afterwards, He reported no pain.

As it stands, the Dodgers are unsure of whether Greinke will be right by Opening Day and are looking into roster possibilities should he not be ready by then.

“Will Zack be able to make opening day? We don’t know that,” said manager Don Mattingly on Thursday.

Honestly, who cares about Opening Day though? It’s just an arbitrary date.

Obviously the primary goal should be getting him healthy, period, just like Carl Crawford.

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Carl Crawford is once again taking batting practice against live pitching.

Carl Crawford took the next step in his rehabilitation on Tuesday, as he faced live pitchers at Camelback Ranch. It was the sixth consecutive day Crawford has taken batting practice of some sort, and his quantity has increased from 50 swings each day to start up to over 120 on Tuesday.

He then hit against live pitching in a game and could be DHing soon in Spring Training.

“Carl was good again today. We’ll see how he does tomorrow. We’re talking about him possibly DH-ing soon. We’ll see how he pops out of these two days. We know he was sore today, body wise. Just regular soreness that you’ll have playing, and in a different gear,” Mattingly said. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow, and make some decisions.”

There is no rush to bring him back, so however long the process needs to take is how long the Dodgers and Carl should be willing to see it through.

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Chad Billingsley made a minor-league start on Wednesday even though he’s dealing with some mild groin tightness.

Billingsley had the right leg wrapped for his Sunday bullpen session and manager Don Mattingly said it is nothing major. Billingsley has a history of groin tightness in previous Spring Trainings.

The Dodgers had the day off but Bills carried on with his preparation as he looks towards the beginning of the season.

He ended up clearing the latest test with flying colors, just like all the others.

“Everything felt great with the groin, I had no issues with that. My arm felt great today, everything was good,” Billingsley said. “I had good command of all my pitches.”

It’s hard to not start to get encouraged by this.

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Javy Guerra‘s groin issue is more serious than Bills’.

The groin issue that hampered Javy Guerra in his one inning of a Minor League game Sunday, however, will “slow him down a bit, that’s for sure,” Mattingly said. Guerra, in his return from a week off because of World Baseball Classic issues, has downplayed the injury, which he didn’t reveal until after his Sunday outing.

“He’s telling me he feels good,” said Mattingly. “We’re going to be cautious. I don’t think it will be for an extended time, but we’ll be cautious for a day.”

In a crowded bullpen, especially if the team keeps eight starters, it’s not out of the question that he could start on the DL or in AAA.

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Shawn Tolleson suffered an injury for the second time this spring after he took a liner off his elbow.

Luckily, it should be fine and he won’t even go in for x-rays.

Tolleson previously dealt with a knee injury a week or so ago.

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Ted Lilly missed a bullpen session due to illness, the second instance this spring in which sickness has felled him.

It’s not a big deal, but for a guy who’s coming back from shoulder surgery and needs reps, the sickness throws him off schedule and puts him behind.

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Matt Palmer went under the knife for arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is out for roughly six to eight weeks.

The surgery to clean up a medial meniscus was performed by Dr. Brian Shafer. Palmer’s knee locked up while walking after playing catch on Saturday.

Palmer had a 3.60 ERA in three spring appearances, having allowed nine runs (seven unearned) in five innings, his outings marred by several errant pickoff throws. He allowed nine hits.

The non-roster invitee had no shot of making the team, but it’s unfortunate that he suffered a non-contact injury and couldn’t at least compete and make a larger impression, one way or the other, on the club.

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Our very own Dustin Nosler is on the scene at Camelback Ranch and reports that Justin Sellers left practice with what appeared to be a lower-leg injury.

Ken Gurnick updates us on Sellers and confirms Nosler’s report, as he says Sellers suffered a sprained ankle.

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Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke.

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